Voters in Leander ISD pass propositions spurred by rising property values
Voters in the Leander Independent School District have approved two propositions triggered by rising property values in the district.
The district's Proposition A was passed with 64.4% of the votes. Proposition B was passed with 52.17%.
"In Leander ISD, we value voice and choice. Through this election, we have heard the will of voters,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing said in a press release. “As a district, we will continue to work tirelessly to meet students where they are and provide them with the best education.”
Proposition A was an Attendance Credit Election. The State of Texas now considers Leander ISD to be a property-wealthy school district, which means it has to pay into the state’s recapture program, commonly known as “Robin Hood.” Money collected by the state through this program is distributed to other school districts in the state that not considered as wealthy.
For the first time in its history, the district will now start making the mandatory recapture payments to the state as a part of the "Robin Hood" program.
Proposition B was a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election. The state caps how much new revenue taxing entities like school districts can collect before needing to hold an election; Leander ISD needed to get voter approval to officially adopt an overall property tax rate of $1.2746 — and it got it.
According to Leander ISD's website, the district now expects to see an additional $32 million in revenue from taxes. The district says it will use this money to pay for raises that were approved last May.
“This monumental decision of voters passing the Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election equips the district to continue forward,” Leander ISD Board President Trish Bode said in the press release. "Forward in the direction set forth in our Board-adopted, community-directed Strategic Plan.”
The district's overall property tax consists of a maintenance and operations (M&O) tax and an interest and sinking (I&S) tax.
The revenue raised by the M&O tax pays for the district's day-to-day operations, including staff salaries, utilities, supplies, programs and repairs. The revenue raised by the I&S tax pays for the district's debt services.
In August, the board of trustees approved an increase in the M&O tax rate and decrease in the I&S tax rate, resulting in an almost 6-cent decrease from last year's overall tax rate.
However, because of increased property values, the owner of an average-value home in Leander ISD can expect see their tax bill increase to $453, which comes out to $38 per month more than last year’s tax bill.
The district said its board of trustees plans to finalize the election results and vote totals by Nov. 22.