BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort County School District is taking out a loan to keep the lights on while they wait on tax funding. That tax money is delayed while the county’s auditor and council are locked in a legal battle.
The Beaufort County School District will be borrowing $100 million but the chief financial officer said it will be paid back in just a few months.
“The tax deadline to pay has been moved from January 15 to March 31. And so, the school district is heavily reliant on tax revenues both in its operations and its debt service,” Beaufort Schools Chief Financial Officer Tonya Crosby said.
That $100 million accounts for 30 percent of both of their budget areas - general funds and debt services. While the school district has taken out loans before, they say they have never done one on this scale.
“We are having to borrow additional funds to supplement our cash flows during the lowest part in our cash flows of the year, which is generally right before tax collections come in.”
The district has put out the request to several large banks and financial operations. The one with the lowest interest will get the bid. They say it will not impact the district long term
“So, the borrowing is required to be paid back within 90 days of the date of the tax deadline, so March 31 is the tax deadline, so it has to be paid back no later than June 30.”
The money will be used to pay bills, salaries, benefits, and debts.
“It’s to support the operations of the district and pay its debt payments that are due, coming due, March 1.”
This is not the first time the district has taken out a loan, but it is the largest and first for this reason. The district also said that the entire point of borrowing this money is that it will have no impact on the day-to-day operations of school for teachers and students.