|Ballot proposition||Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.4663 per $100 valuation in Northwest Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 17 percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $33,329,382.
Ratificar la tasa del impuesto ad valorem de $1.4663 por valoración de $100 en el Distrito Escolar Independiente de Northwest para el corriente año, tasa que resultará en un incremento del 17 por ciento en ingresos del impuesto de operación y mantenimiento para el distrito durante el corriente año comparado con el año anterior, los que significa $33,329,382 adicionales.
|If I vote FOR||Northwest ISD will increase the portion of property taxes that supports the district to $1.4663 per $100 valuation for the 2020-21 school year.
Northwest ISD will be able to access approximately $21 million in additional funding.
|If I vote AGAINST||The portion of property taxes that supports Northwest ISD will remain at $1.42 per $100 valuation.
Northwest ISD will not be able to access approximately $21 million in additional funding.
|Tax consequences||If the proposition is approved, the overall Northwest ISD tax rate would increase by 4 cents per $100.
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).|
|Understanding public school tax rates||There are two figures involved in public school tax rates: the Maintenance and Operations budget (M&O) and the Interest and Sinking (I&S) budget.
The M&O budget funds daily costs and recurring expenses, such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food, gas, and utilities. The I&S budget, also known as debt service, and is used to repay debt on district bonds for long-term capital projects, such as building construction and renovation, equipment, and transportation. By law, I&S funds cannot be used to pay for M&S expenses.
Currently, the Northwest ISD tax rate is $1.42 ($0.97 M&O + $0.45 I&S). If the VATRE is approved, the Northwest ISD tax rate would be $1.4463 ($1.0463 M&O + $0.42 I&S).
|Why did Northwest ISD call a VATRE?||Under current state law (known as HB 3 in the 2019 legislative session), the state implemented comprehensive changes to the school finance system. The bill required school districts to compress their tax rate, which in turn created limits on how much districts can rely on property taxes. It also gave the state authority to set the district tax rate, rather than the Board of Trustees.
Under HB 3, the district will lose between $10-15 million per year in revenue. If the VATRE is approved, they will be able to access about $21 million, offsetting state funding cuts and help manage the district’s growing enrollment.
|Public school tax rates and those age 65 and over||Property taxes for Northwest 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||Northwest ISD, “Voter Approved Tax Rate Election,” https://www.nisdtxbond.org/vatre
Northwest ISD, “Tax Information,” https://www.nisdtxbond.org/tax-info
Texas Education Agency, “School District Property Values and Tax Rates,” https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/state-funding/additional-finance-resources/school-district-property-values-and-tax-rates
|Recent news articles||"Northwest ISD proposes nearly $1 billion in bond packages," The Texan (Oct 15, 2020) https://thetexan.news/northwest-isd-proposes-nearly-1-billion-in-bond-packages/ (paywall - article limit)
“Northwest ISD approves November elections for 2020 bond, board of trustees, tax rate,” Community Impact (Aug 13, 2020) https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/keller-roanoke-northeast-fort-worth/education/2020/08/13/northwest-isd-approves-november-elections-for-2020-bond-board-of-trustees-tax-rate/