By Trey Bundy and Shane Shifflett
The Napa Valley Unified School District had a quandary: The district needed a new high school in American Canyon, but taxpayers appeared unwilling to take the financial hit required to build it.
So in 2009, the district took out an unusual loan – $22 million with no payments due for 21 years. By 2049, when the debt is paid, it will have cost taxpayers $154 million – seven times the amount borrowed.
School board member Jose Hurtado said he stands by the deal. But if it were a mortgage, he acknowledged, “we would run.”