SAISD Board to consider bond and Tax Ratification elections at meeting tonight

Media Advisory

What:        SAISD Board of Trustees to consider Bond and Tax Ratification elections at meeting tonight

When:       Monday (Aug. 15), 5:45 p.m.

Where:      Burnet Center, 406 Barrera St.

The SAISD Board of Trustees is scheduled tonight to consider adoption of an order calling an election to put a $450 million bond proposal before voters, as well as a proposed 13-cent increase to the District’s Maintenance & Operations tax rate. If called for, the two proposals would appear on the Nov. 8, 2016, ballot, as separate items.

The scheduled action follows recommendations on Aug. 1 by a community-based Blue Ribbon Task Force.

The SAISD Board is expected to vote on a proposed 2016-17 Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate of $1.17 per $100 of assessed property value. Any Texas school district that adopts an M&O tax rate above $1.04 must hold a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to provide voters the opportunity to approve, or “ratify” the higher rate. If voters approve the increase, this additional tax effort on the M&O tax rate generates additional funding from the state for daily operating costs.

School district tax rates in Texas have two parts: the M&O tax, which pays for day-to-day operations, such as salaries, utilities and supplies; and the Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax, which is used to pay down bond debt used to finance school construction and renovations – but may not be used for daily operating costs.

The committee recommended that the increased operating revenue from the TRE be used to fund the District’s 21st-century classroom initiative throughout all of its schools, as well as extended afterschool programs and other academic initiatives.

The 16-member Blue Ribbon Task Force also recommended the bond election fund renovations at 13 schools: seven high schools, four middle schools and two elementary schools.

If the $450 million bond were to go on the ballot and pass, the District’s I&S rate is projected to increase by 12 cents over five years, starting in 2017, to support the proposed bond program. If voters were to approve the 13-cent increase to the M&O rate, the increase would take effect in 2016.