Leander ISD has two propositions on the ballot this election. Here's what they are.
Some voters in Williamson County will see two Leander Independent School District propositions on the ballot this election season. Both propositions were triggered by increased property values in the school district.
The district's Proposition A is an Attendance Credit Election, which state law requires when a district’s revenues from property values exceed its calculated entitlement, or the maximum revenue the state says it should get. The excess is owed to the state through a process called recapture (also known as Robin Hood), to distribute to lower-income school districts.
This is the first time Leander ISD has exceeded the state's calculated entitlement for revenue from property values, prompting the election to allow voters to decide the district's process for making the recapture payments.
If Prop A passes, the district would make its mandatory recapture payments to the state as required under Texas law.
If Prop A fails, the state would find another way to remove the excess revenue from the district — most likely by detaching a portion of the district’s total property value. This would mean some property owners would pay their taxes to another school district, shrinking Leander ISD's tax base.
If this happens, the detachment of property would be permanent and irreversible, even if in future years the property values within the district make it no longer subject to recapture.
The district's Proposition B is a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election, which was triggered when Leander ISD's Board of Trustees adopted a property tax rate of $1.2746 — which is greater than the calculated rate set by law — in August.
The 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 would see their tax bill increase to $453, which comes out to $38 per month more than last year’s tax bill.
If Prop B passes, the property tax rate adopted by the Board of Trustees would be ratified and the district would raise $32 million in additional revenue.
The district says this revenue would be used to fund pay raises for teachers and other employees approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2022.
If Prop B fails, the district would lose out on any additional revenue and could be left with a budget deficit of nearly $35 million for the 2022–23 school year.
The district says it would need to make spending cuts that could result in fewer teachers working in the district. The district also says it would need to consider restructuring or eliminating certain programs in the district.
For more information about Leander ISD's propositions, visit the Leander ISD website.
The election is Nov. 8. Early voting is Oct. 24 to Nov. 4.