What is a VATRE election?A Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) is a special election called by a school district, asking voters to approve an increase above the maximum Maintenance and Operations tax rate.

In Texas, school district budgets are funded by two different tax rates: Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). The M&O rate funds the day-to-day maintenance and operations of the district, while the I&S rate funds debt repayment for construction projects and other capital improvements; these funds cannot be used to supplement district operational funds or salaries.
BackgroundIn August 2021, Mansfield ISD opened three new schools, which are predicted to accommodate student enrollment for the next several years, without the need to construct additional buildings.

Since the district is unlikely to need to fund capital projects for the next several years, MISD proposes a “penny swap” election, in which the M&O rate is increased by 13 cents and the I&S rate is decreased by 13 cents. Since M&O funds can be used more flexibly, the district estimates that net operating revenue would increase by $24.7 million annually. The district states that these funds would be used to maintain student programs, retain quality staff and improve salaries, and ensure safety and security standards are met, without increasing the overall tax rate.
Resources“MISD Penny Swap” website, Mansfield ISD, https://www.misdpennyswap.org

Proposition A

PropositionRatifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.4183 in Mansfield Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 16.60 percent in Maintenance and Operations tax revenue for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $24,690,997.

Ratificar la tasa impositiva ad valorem de $1.4183 en el Distrito Escolar Independiente de Mansfield para el año en curso, una tasa que resultará en un aumento del 16.60 por ciento en los ingresos de impuestos de mantenimiento y operaciones del distrito para el año en curso en comparación con el año anterior, que es un adicional de $24,690,997.
If I vote FORThe Mansfield ISD M&O tax rate will increase by 13 cents and the I&S tax rate will decrease by 13 cents, which will increase annual revenue for the next school year by nearly $24.7 million.
If I vote AGAINSTThe Mansfield ISD M&O and I&S tax rates will remain at their current rates.
Tax ConsequencesIf the proposition passes, the overall Mansfield ISD tax rate (M&O + I&S) will remain the same. The current rate is $1.4183 per $100 valuation.

The M&O portion of tax rate will increase by 13 cents (from $0.9283 to $1.0583) while the I&S portion of the tax rate will decrease by 13 cents (from $0.49 to $0.36).