More taxpayer distrust

In talking with a citizen the other day I heard him indicate that he voted against the EPISD tax initiative because he feared that the tax increase was permanent.

Actually voting for the initiative will not raise our total school taxes.  The EPISD board has already voted to lower the rate for debt payments by the same amount that they are asking the public to approve as an increase to the maintenance and operations rate.  In other words the combined tax rate will remain the same.  The reason for doing this is that Texas will provide more money to the district.

Unfortunately the school board has not decided to use some of the extra money from the state to continue to reduce our debt at the same rate we did before they lowered their debt payment levy.  That would have been a clear win for everyone.

When I went to vote I saw this wording on the ballot:

“APPROVING THE AD VALOREM TAX RATE OF $1.2350 PER $100 VALUATION IN THE EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, A RATE THAT IS $.0076 HIGHER PER $100 VALUATION THAN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT ROLLBACK TAX RATE.”

It asks for permission to raise a portion of the rate for this year.

Not being expert in the area school district taxation I don’t know if this opens the door to some kind of automatic increase in the future, but I doubt it.

The ballot says “for the current year”.

Please vote.  The election is tomorrow.

We deserve better

Brutus

8 Responses to More taxpayer distrust

  1. Rodney Fender says:

    What they are NOT telling you is that by voting yes it will extend the term of the debt thus INCREASING COSTS – VOTE NO!!!

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  2. Dori Fenenbock, President EPISD Board of Trustees says:

    The penny swap election tomorrow will allow a three cent increase on the maintenance and operations tax rate. You are correct that the board has already approved a three cent decrease in the interest and sinking fund tax rate. The net change in tax rate will be zero. It allows us to access $9 million in additional state funds at no cost to local tax payers. These funds will be available year after year and are not tied to enrollment. This language does not approve a future tax increase. It is important to note that the state created this funding formula to force a local tax increase. The Board of Trustees has approved a creative funding formula that allows us to access these funds without a net local tax increase. The $9 million has been committed to increase salaries of underpaid teachers and staff. This is an important step in building trust with our community by approving a balanced budget, not asking for a tax increase, and still getting outside funding for the district. This is the kind of responsible solution the community should continue to expect from the board and will hopefully come out tomorrow to support.

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    • Reality Checker says:

      “Year after year” for how many years? With all due respect, “year after year” implies that the State is a never-ending source of money. What happens if the State decides to reduce or stop this funding?

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      • Helen Marshall says:

        YISD did this same tax change 6 years ago or so and has been benefitting ever since. Why not try it?

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        • Reality Checker says:

          I wasn’t saying don’t try it. I simply asked two questions. I also didn’t get a response. Any response would have been better than no response.

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          • Deputy Dawg says:

            The funds are for perpetuity. Even if the state changes the law now, the district would be grandfathered in and keep the funding.

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  3. One has to wonder, especially today when seeing shrinking enrollment in at least two local Districts, what kind of fiscal management was conducted in these Districts over the years. Why weren’t there any contingency funds, or emergency funds, or trusts, or investments set up to help in a time like now? Why are so many campuses in such a sad state of disrepair? How can the Boards be asking for more money from fewer taxpayers?

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  4. Deputy Dawg says:

    The wording is horrible, It makes it sound like a tax increase. The district is not in charge of the wording. That comes from the state, which is run by people that try very hard to get no kind of tax increase at all out there…because, well it is Texas. So in reality, it IS a tax increase of three cents on one side, but the wording does not say it is a tax DECREASE on the other.

    Vote Yes. It is $14 million per year in perpetuity for the district from the state with no tax increase at all.

    Like

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