What is a bond?A bond is essentially an IOU. Instead of going to a bank to get a loan, like an individual might do, governments can issue bonds to raise money for specific projects. An investor buys a bond on the understanding that they will be paid back, in full and with interest, on a set date (limited by law to 40 years). In most cases, governments must seek voter approval to issue a bond.

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 (M&O) 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.
Resources“Bond 2021” website, White Settlement ISD, https://www.wsisd.com/apps/pages/Bond2021 (also available in Spanish)

“Proposition B – VATRE,” White Settlement ISD, https://www.wsisd.com/apps/pages/Bond2021-PropositionB (also available in Spanish)

Proposition A

PropositionThe issuance of $115,000,000 of bonds by the White Settlement Independent School District for school facilities and sites and levying the tax in payment thereof. This is a property tax increase.

La emisión de $115,000,000 en bonos por parte del distrito escolar independiente de white settlement para instalaciones escolares y predios y la imposición del impuesto para el pago de los bonos. Esto es un aumento al impuesto predial.
BackgroundWhite Settlement ISD’s Long Range Facilities Planning Committee presented recommendations for a bond proposal to the WSISD Board of Trustees, in order to accommodate future student enrollment growth. The district estimates that enrollment will increase by 15% (1,350 students) over the next 5-10 years.
What would Proposition A pay for?Proposition A will pay for improvements at the following:
- West Elementary (future Early Childhood Academy); Brewer Middle School; Tannahill Intermediate (future Tannahill Fine Arts Academy); Liberty Elementary; Brewer High School; Blue Haze Elementary; North Elementary; FIne Arts Academy building (future Operations & Special Operations facility); Administration Building. For details see https://www.wsisd.com/apps/pages/Bond2021-SchoolandDistrictImprovements
- District-wide improvements to paving, parking, and drives; masonry, irrigation, roofing, HVAC system, and flooring improvements/upgrades; restroom refurbishment; signage replacement; building and land acquisition

Proposition A will also fund a grade level instructional realignment across elementary, intermediate, and middle school campuses.
See https://www.wsisd.com/apps/pages/Bond2021-GradeRealignment for details.
If I vote FORWhite Settlement ISD will issue up to $115 million in bonds.
If I vote AGAINSTWhite Settlement ISD will not issue up to $115 million in bonds.
Tax ConsequencesThe WSISD I&S tax rate would increase by 2 cents, to $0.98 per $100 valuation.

Property taxes for those who are 65 or older, or who are disabled, are not impacted by a tax rate increase under the homestead exemption.

Proposition B

PropositionRatifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.4603 per $100 valuation in White Settlement Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 2% percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $410,059.

Ratificar la tasa del impuesto ad valorem de $1.4603 en el distrito escolar independiente de white settlement para el corriente año, tas a que resutará en un incremento del 2% 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 $410,059.
What would Proposition B pay for?White Settlement ISD estimates that passage of Proposition B will generate $1.8 million in local funds and $2.3 million in state funds, which would be used for the following purposes:
Expand counseling and mental health support programs district-wide; add a director of counseling to oversee a comprehensive guidance and counseling plan; add additional counselors and social workers; provide a district-wide mental health and emotional wellness K-12 curriculum
Increase teacher salaries; WSISD currently ranks 32nd of 48 districts in a recent United Educators Association comparison
If I vote FORWhite Settlement ISD will raise the M&O tax rate by 2 cents per $100 valuation, to fund counseling and mental health programs and increased teacher salaries.
If I vote AGAINSTThe White Settlement ISD tax rate will remain the same.
Tax ConsequencesIf the proposition passes, the WSISD tax rate would increase by 2 cents per $100 valuation.

Property taxes for those who are 65 or older, or who are disabled, are not impacted by a tax rate increase under the homestead exemption.