### Tax Ratification Elections Do`s and Don`ts

```TAX RATIFICATION ELECTIONS
DO’S AND DON’TS
HUTTO ISD’S EXPERIENCE
TRE - DEFINITION
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Texas law requires school districts to calculate two tax
rates -- the effective tax rate and the rollback tax rate -after the district receives the certified appraisal rolls or
certified property value estimates from the certified
appraiser. Generally, if a school board adopts a tax rate
above its rollback tax rate, it must hold an election to ratify
that rate. If a majority of the votes cast in the election
favor the proposition, the tax rate for the current year is
the rate adopted by the board. If the proposition is not
approved, then the board may not adopt a tax rate for the
current year that exceeds the rollback rate.
DO’S
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Factually promote district accomplishments
Factually promote FIRST distinctions, credit ratings
Give background info on state funding (How did we get
here)
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HB 1 froze school district revenues at the 05-06 level w/no
inflationary factors
09 Legislature provided minimal relief giving districts an
extra \$120 per student but required mandated raises
11 Legislative session cut education funding
Give factual information on state funding cut impact
DO’S
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Communication Plan
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Community Budget Forums
Superintendent Coffee and Donuts
Presentations to social organizations – Lions Club, Rotary
Presentations to Booster Clubs, PTO’s, etc
Prepare articles, press releases, columns, etc.
DO’S
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.01 =
.02 =
.03 =
.04 =
.05 =
.06 =
State
\$206,313
\$293,626
\$321,939
\$347,252
\$371,565
\$391,878
Local
\$139,687
\$279,374
\$419,061
\$558,748
\$698,435
\$838,122
\$346,000
\$573,000
\$741,000
\$906,000
\$1,070,000
\$1,230,000
DO’S
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Inform voters of tax impact on average home values
.06 Cent Tax Increase on Average HISD Home
Taxable Home Value
\$100,000
\$110,000
\$120,000
\$130,000
\$140,000
\$150,000
\$160,000
\$175,000
\$195,000
Monthly Increase
\$5.00
\$5.50
\$6.00
\$6.50
\$7.00
\$7.50
\$8.00
\$8.75
\$9.75
Yearly Increase
\$60.00
\$66.00
\$72.00
\$78.00
\$84.00
\$90.00
\$96.00
\$105.00
\$117.00
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
Thinking “Outside the Box”
Revenue Generation Measures
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•
•
•
•
•
•
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School Bus Chartering (Non-profits only)
Extra-Curricular activity fees
Tuition Based Pre-K Program (save positions)
Online School Store
Land for Sale
Buildings for Lease
VHES building leased to Temple College/TSTC
NEW REVENUES: \$217,000
WHAT HAVE WE DONE?
Educating More with Less
Educating with
07-08 \$\$:
07-08 Enrollment: 4,350
\$ spent per student: \$6,998
07-08 Budget:
\$30,442,177
11-12 Enrollment: 5,653
\$ spent per student: \$6,527
11-12 Budget:
\$36,898,121
11-12 Budget using 07-08 \$ spent
per student:
\$39,559,694
1,303
with
\$2,661,573 fewer dollars
since 07-08. Does not include
DO’S
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Discuss importance of Fund Balance and why needed
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Credit Rating, cover unexpected costs, financial stability, etc
DO’S
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Explain the two school district tax rates:
 M&O
– Salaries, utilities, supplies, equipment etc
 I&S – Capital improvements, Land, Buses, Schools
DO’S
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Discuss what happens if TRE fails
Only give factual information
 EXAMPLES – Larger class sizes, impacts future raises,
reduce art/music at elementary level, implement
extracurricular fees, implement bus transportation fee,
no travel for band/cheer to away games, eliminate
instructional fieldtrips, etc.
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You are not alone: 1.17 = 253 Districts
+1.04 = 52 Districts
1.04 = 625 Districts
 Hutto’s experience
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TRE TIMELINE- 30-90 DAYS AFTER TAX RATE ADOPTED
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EARLY TAX RATE ADOPTION (Not in Nov)
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Appraisal Districts are required to prepare and certify an
ESTIMATE of taxable property by April 30th
Upon receipt of estimated values, school district may adopt a
tax rate BEFORE the budget & receipt of certified appraisal roll
(July 25th)
If Districts use this method, effective and rollback tax rate
calculations shall be based on the certified ESTIMATE of
taxable property values.
District must publish NOTICE and hold a public meeting to
discus proposed tax rate. Following adoption of tax rate,
district must publish a 2nd Notice and hold another public
meeting before the district may adopt a budget.
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Districts authorized to order a TRE with as few as 30 days
notice, after adoption of tax rate. Notice of TRE must be
provided to county clerk of each county no later than the
30th day before the rollback election day. All other election
TIMEFRAME
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Publication of notice to discuss proposed tax rate: Not
EARLIER than 30 days or LATER than 10 days prior to rate
Rollback Election: 30-90 days after date of adoption
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For Election held in Nov (uniform election date), election must
be ordered at least 62 days prior to election day.
July 25th – Deadline for Chief Appraiser to certify appraisal
rolls to school districts
Publication: Publish Notice not earlier than 30 days or later
than 10 days prior to rate adoption.
Can ADOPT a tax rate as early as August 4th if publish by July
26th
Rollback Election: 30-90 days after date of adoption.
Adopting a tax rate after Aug 7 will put Nov 6 in the 30-90 day
window, requiring a district to hold its TRE on Nov 6, 2012
If a district adopts a tax rate using certified rolls, a TRE must
be ordered at least 62 days before it is held.
CONSULT AN ATTORNEY REGARDING TIMELINES
DON’TS
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Campaign for your TRE – FACTS ONLY!!
Assume there is no opposition
 Voter Apathy
 Tea Party Movement – (Government spending, no
new taxes)
 Outside Groups
Be afraid to get all factual information to voters –
“What happens if TRE Fails”
PAC – Needed or Not
DON’TS
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Uniform Election Date – Nov (Big Gamble)
Let community forget information – Spring – Election
day. COMMUNICATION TIMELINE IMPORTANT
Ignore rumors and perceptions
Forget local legislators