|Ballot proposition||Specific ballot language not yet known.|
|If I vote FOR||Arlington ISD will increase the portion of property taxes that supports the district to $1.3871 per $100 valuation for the 2020-21 school year.
Arlington ISD will be able to access approximately $18 million in additional state funding.
|If I vote AGAINST||The portion of property taxes that supports Arlington ISD will remain at $1.2987 per $100 valuation.
Arlington ISD will not be able to access approximately $18 million in additional state funding.
|Tax consequences||If the proposition passes, the portion of property taxes that supports Arlington ISD will go up. For example, an average home in Arlington is valued at $208,985; if this measure passes, the tax for this home would go up by $162.70
Taxpayers over age 65 would incur no tax increase unless they make substantial improvements to their home.
|What is a VATRE?||State law requires that school districts seek voter approval to raise their tax rate above a prescribed amount. The election is referred to as a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE).|
|Why has Arlington ISD called a VATRE?||If the VATRE is approved, it would give Arlington ISD access to approximately $56 million in additional revenue. Of that total, about $18 million (or one-third) will come from an increase in state funds. Without passing a VATRE, the district would not receive the additional state funding.
According to the AISD website, the district has called the election for the following reasons:
-- Teacher pay: Arlington ISD has lost ground in competitive market pay for teachers over the last several years. Competing districts with more revenue can effectively attract and retain quality educators through higher salaries. A VATRE would be used to increase teacher compensation.
-- Access to additional state funding: The additional pennies of tax authorized through a VATRE are weighted in state funding formulas. The proposed tax rate increase would generate approximately $18 million in state aid to be used for teacher salaries and instructional programs.
-- Staff pay: Like pay for teachers, Arlington ISD would use the VATRE to increase pay for support staff. This includes approximately 4,000 staff members who provide educational support services for students, drive buses, clean and maintain schools and provide security services.
|Public school tax rates and those age 65 and over||Property taxes for Arlington ISD residents age 65 or over will not be impacted by the bond election.
According to state law, persons 65 and older can apply to receive a homestead exemption through their local property tax appraisal district. For those aged 65 or older with residence homestead exemptions, the dollar amount of school taxes cannot be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65, regardless of changes in tax rate or property value, unless significant improvements are made to the home. To apply or to check the current status of your homestead exemption, contact your local property tax appraisal district.
|Resources||Arlington ISD, “Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE),” https://www.aisd.net/district/voter-approved-tax-ratification-election-vatre/|
|Recent news articles||“Arlington ISD asks voters to approve tax increase of 9 cents per $100 tax value,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Aug 29, 2020), https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/article245356920.html (paywall - article limit)|