Frequently asked Questions about the Tax Ratification Election

August 13, 2012

Pictured is recent Sweetwater High School graduate, Carly Johnson, who had the opportunity to vote in her first election this week — the SISD (Sweetwater Independent School District) Tax Ratification Election. Early voting for the Tax Ratification Election began Aug. 8, and continues through the 21st at the SISD Administration Building. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Election Day will be Aug. 25 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at the Sweetwater Middle School. (Photo by Kathy Smartt)

Q: What is a TRE?
A: TRE is the abbreviation for Tax Ratification Election. After passage of House Bill 1 (HB1) in 2006, state law requires a school district to ask the local voters to ratify or approve any M&O tax rate above $1.04. The law allows local school boards to set an M&O rate up to $1.17. SISD’s board has set our local M&O rate at $1.095.
Q: How much additional revenue will the district realize for a 3.5 cent increase in our M&O tax rate?
A: The total benefit will be approximately $393,000 annually. Of that amount, $229,000 will come from our local taxpayers and the state will provide additional state funding in the amount of $164,000.
Q: Why does the state reward a school district with additional state dollars for setting an M&O tax rate above 1.00?
A: The state system provides an incentive to school districts that choose to invest additional local dollars in the education of their children. This applies to M&O tax rates from $1.01 up to $1.17.
Q: How can SISD’s total tax rate decrease?
A: School District’s tax rate is made up of two portions, Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and Interest & Sinking (I&S). I&S is the portion which pays for voter approved bonded debt. SISD has received state aid from a program called “Existing Debt Allotment” and our Taxable base has grown. This will allow us to lower our I&S tax rate from $.165 to .12. This decrease will allow SISD’s total tax rate to drop from $1.225 to 1.215, even with the passage of the TRE.
Wording on the Ballot
“Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $1.215 per $100 valuation in Sweetwater ISD for the current year, a rate that is $.009 higher per $100 valuation than the school district rollback rate.”
Results of Vote
For = $.01 in lower tax rate for Tax Payers and District receives $393,000 in additional funding per year.
Against = $.019 in lower tax rate for Tax Payers and no additional funding for District.

Voting Dates and Locations
Sweetwater Independent School District
Voter Information
Tax Ratification Election
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012

Early Voting
Aug. 8-21, 2012
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SISD Administration Building
207 Musgrove
Sweetwater, TX 79556

Election Day
Aug. 25, 2012
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
SISD Middle School
305 Lamar
Sweetwater, TX 79556

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