Aug. 22, 2016
Bastrop ISD Board of Trustees voted Aug. 22 to call for both a $75 million bond and a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to raise the District’s Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate by 13 cents. The bond would necessitate an Interest & Sinking (I&S) rate increase of 3.9 cents. Voters residing within the District’s attendance zone will be asked to consider the two separate ballot propositions in November.
The decision to move forward on the Nov. 8 elections followed recommendations from a citizen-based Long-Range Facilities Planning committee. Throughout the 2015-16 school year, the committee reviewed data, toured facilities, and conducted a comprehensive needs assessment.
The bond would fund renovations at multiple campuses and facilities throughout the district, replacement of aging infrastructure systems, repurposing of certain existing facilities to better accommodate growth and grade reconfiguration, expansion of 21st century learning, expansion of CTE/career pathways, and enhancements to District athletic facilities and technology infrastructure.
The increased operating revenue generated from the TRE would assist the District in providing additional funds for competitive teacher compensation and to adequately manage the additional costs that come with enrollment growth. The TRE would also provide additional funds for enhancements to safety and security, instructional technology, and maintenance and operational expenses.
BISD trustees voted Aug. 16 to set the M&O tax rate at $1.17 per $100 of tax valuation, up from the current rate of $1.04. An M&O tax rate above $1.04 requires voter approval. If voters approve, or “ratify,” the 13-cent increase on November 8, it would generate an additional estimated $4.28 million in local tax revenue. BISD then would have access to state aid or equalization funding in the amount of $2.97 million, for a total of $7.25 million in additional annual operations revenue.
“Bastrop ISD has a strong track record of being conservative and fiscally responsible with our precious resources and the taxpayers’ dollars. With the recent failure by the Texas Supreme Court and several years of failure by the Texas Legislature to adequately and fairly address public school funding, local districts must take care of business themselves,” said Superintendent Steve Murray. “We’re also growing and need to address such, along with maintenance, repurposing, and expansion of existing facilities. For these reasons and more, we asked the Board to approve the TRE and bond proposals and elections. We appreciate their support and their vision.”
Estimated Tax Impact
The impact of the TRE and bond to the owner of an average taxable-value home in BISD of $144,017 would be an increase of $16.76 per month. BISD property taxes for senior citizens would not be affected by either of the two proposals as long as a homestead and over 65 exemption application has been filed with the Bastrop County Appraisal District and other required criteria have been met.
“We take the recommendations of our Superintendent and our facilities planning team very seriously,” said BISD Board President James Allen. “As a parent and as a business owner, I believe in our district. We owe it to our kids, and we owe it to our community to have schools of excellence. It’s what attracts families and businesses to invest in Bastrop. Our whole community benefits.”
More information on the Tax Ratification Election and the Bond Election can be found on the District website “Inside BISD” tab under “TRE and Bond Election 2016” or by following the link below: http://www.bisdtx.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=327782&type=d&pREC_ID=1006873