The Pasco County Commission has approved a request to enable Innovation Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel to qualify the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to finance Innovation Preparatory Academy in Wesley Chapel.
The board approved the request from the Florida Charter Educational Foundation (FCEF), without discussion, as part of its consent agenda.
The consent agenda contains numerous items that are approved in a single vote, unless an item is pulled off for discussion.
In this case, the board approved a request by FCEF to borrow $20 million, with the funds being issued by the Industrial Development Authority of La Paz, Arizona, not Pasco County.
The funds are intended to finance the acquisition, development, construction, and equipping of an approximately 56,000-square-foot charter school building and ancillary facilities, according to background materials in the Pasco county board’s March 21 agenda packet.
Pasco County has no obligation with respect to the bonds, but had to approve the request in order for the charter foundation to qualify for the tax-exempt bonds.
The federal tax law allowing this type of tax-exempt financing is known as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA).
That law requires the request to be approved by the “highest elected” board in the jurisdiction, a public hearing to gather public input and a finding that the project is in the public interest.
On another issue, the county board approved a budget change to realign $54,987.84 to pay for an irrigation project at the Wesley Chapel District Park.
The money came from savings from the district park’s gymnasium coming in under budget last year.
The money will be used to explore alternative sources of water for irrigating the soccer and baseball fields at the park. The fields are currently watered with potable or reclaimed water sources that often are expensive and not dependable.
In other action, the county board:
- Approved the appointments of Matthew Miller and Shannon Hayley Kennedy to serve a three-year term and Maryann Bishop to serve a one-year term on the Environmental Lands Acquisition Selection Committee (ELASC). The board also approved Patty Fesmire to a one-year reappointment to the committee.
Published March 29, 2023