2023 VATRE & Bond Election

Unofficial Results of November 7, 2023 Election


image of results







September 13, 2023

Devine ISD asks community for input

Devine ISD is asking community members for their input about priorities if the bond election slated for November is approved. The link to the survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/disdbond.

Safety and security is still a priority.

Funding sources for capital improvements to address safety and security are only available through voter-approved bonds. After the May 2023 bond election, DISD board members listened to the voters who do not want their property taxes to go up.  The board decided to call for another bond election in an amount that will not raise taxes. At the Aug. 21, 2023 meeting, trustees unanimously called for an $11.255 million bond election on Nov. 7, 2023.

Why $11.255 million?

The Interest & Sinking tax rate, which is the portion of the tax rate used to pay voter-approved bonds, will remain at 24 cents if the bond election is approved. The revenue brought in at the 24 cent tax rate is sufficient to fund the entire $11.255 million bond.

A little history about the process of setting priorities.

In the fall of 2022, a facilities committee consisting of staff, parents, and community members was formed. The committee was presented with the board-adopted Strategic Facilities Plan.  Committee members reviewed the plan and decided on conducting a survey to get more community input.  The feedback from the survey showed that priority should be given to addressing safety and security for students and accommodating the growing band program. The committee reviewed the survey results and decided to recommend that the board call for a $32.2 million bond. At its regular February board meeting, the facilities committee presented their recommendations and the board unanimously approved calling for a bond election. The bond election consisted of two propositions. Proposition A addressed safety and security improvements, a new band hall, and a new or renovated special education building. Proposition B was for four additional tennis courts to accommodate the district’s large tennis program.  Proposition A failed by 39 votes, and Proposition B failed by 172 votes.

What projects can be funded for $11.255 million?

The district has developed a survey to ask the community members to give their input. All the projects recommended in the May bond election will not be addressed, but the district will start with the top priority item and work down to get as much accomplished as possible. To view the possible projects and to complete the survey, scan the QR code below or go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/disdbond

 QR code

Please direct questions to the Central Office at 830-851-0795 or by email at [email protected].

 



September 6, 2023
Tax Impact from DISD’s Bond Election and VATRE


The Devine ISD School Board called for an $11.255 million bond election and a voter-approval tax ratification election (VATRE). The purpose of the bond election is to fund capital improvements to be made district-wide for the safety and security of all campuses.  The VATRE is being called in order to recapture three cents that the district lost because of mandatory compression by the state in 2019.


What will the ballot look like?


DEVINE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION

(la elección especial del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Devine)

November 7, 2023
(día 7 de noviembre del 2023)

 

DEVINE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPOSITION A

DISTRITO ESCOLAR INDEPENDIENTE DE DEVINE PROPOSICIÓN A

□ FOR

  (a favor)

 

 

 

 

□ AGAINST

  (en contra)

RATIFYING THE AD VALOREM TAX RATE OF $0.9670 PER $100 VALUATION IN THE DEVINE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, A RATE THAT WILL RESULT IN AN INCREASE OF 0 PERCENT IN MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS TAX REVENUE FOR THE DISTRICT FOR THE CURRENT YEAR AS COMPARED TO THE PRECEDING YEAR, WHICH IS AN ADDITIONAL $0.

RATIFICAR LA TASA IMPOSITIVA AD VALOREM DE $0.9670 POR CADA $100 DE VALUACIÓN EN EL DISTRITO ESCOLAR INDEPENDIENTE DE DEVINE PARA EL AÑO EN CURSO, UNA TASA QUE RESULTARÁ EN UN AUMENTO DEL 0 POR CIENTO EN LA RECAUDACIÓN DEL IMPUESTO DE MANTENIMIENTO Y OPERACIONES PARA EL DISTRITO PARA EL AÑO EN CURSO EN COMPARACIÓN CON EL AÑO ANTERIOR, LO QUE EQUIVALE A $0 ADICIONALES.

 

DEVINE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPOSITION B

DISTRITO ESCOLAR INDEPENDIENTE DE DEVINE PROPOSICIÓN B

□ FOR

  (a favor)

 

 

 

 

□ AGAINST

  (en contra)

THE ISSUANCE OF $11,255,000 OF BONDS BY THE DEVINE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES, WITH PRIORITY GIVEN TO DISTRICT-WIDE SAFETY AND SECURITY RENOVATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS, AND THE LEVYING OF A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.

LA EMISIÓN DE $11,255,000 EN BONOS POR PARTE DEL DISTRITO ESCOLAR INDEPENDIENTE DE DEVINE PARA INSTALACIONES ESCOLARES, DANDO PRIORIDAD A LAS RENOVACIONES Y MEJORAS DE SEGURIDAD Y PROTECCIÓN EN TODO EL DISTRITO Y LA IMPOSICIÓN DE UN IMPUESTO PARA EL PAGO DE LO ANTERIOR.  ESTE ES UN INCREMENTO DEL IMPUESTO A LA PROPIEDAD.

In Proposition A, voters will notice that the language states that there will be a 0% increase in the Maintenance & Operations tax rate as a result of this election. This portion of the tax rate is used to pay for the daily operation of school business, such as teacher and staff salaries, classroom supplies, and building repair and maintenance.  The ballot states that the M&O tax rate will not be increased, which is ballot language required by state law.  Instead, the tax rate will be decreased because the state compressed the tax rate in the past legislative session.  The tax rate was compressed from the 2022 rate of $0.8546 to $0.6970.  In the VATRE election, the district is asking the voter to approve a rate three cents higher than the compressed rate for a total of $0.7270 for 2023, lower than the 2022 tax rate.

In Proposition B, the language states “This is a Property Tax Increase”, which is language required by state law.  This portion of the tax rate is called Interest & Sinking and is used to pay off voter approved debt.  This tax rate is currently 24 cents and will remain 24 cents even if the bond is approved.  State law does not allow the district to change the ballot language to reflect the facts.  As a result of this requirement, voters in DISD will see this language on the bond proposition; however, the DISD Interest & Sinking tax rate will not increase as a result of the 2023 bond election.  


How are school tax rates determined?

The school district’s revenue is generated by two sources: tax collections and state aid. The Devine ISD tax rate that is on tax statements is composed of two board–adopted rates, Maintenance & Operations (M&O) and Interest & Sinking (I&S).


The I&S portion of the school tax rate is used to pay voter-approved bonds. This portion of the school district tax rate is decided on by the board of trustees based on the amount of money required to make the yearly bond payment. This rate is currently 24 cents and is sufficient to fund the entire $11.255 million proposed bond. 


The M&O tax rate is essentially determined by a state funding formula.  In 2019 as part of this funding formula, the state compressed DISD’s M&O tax rate by 17 cents, but the state allowed the district to retain five of those pennies by board resolution.  School districts could only recapture the remaining twelve cents by voter approval.  In the VATRE election, the district is asking to recapture three of these remaining pennies. 


Since 2018, the school tax rate has decreased annually as shown in the table below.


Tax Year

M&O Tax Rate

I&S Tax Rate

Total Tax Rate

Decrease from prior year

2012-2017

1.17

.20

1.37

--

2018

1.17

.165

1.3350

.0350

2019

1.0683

.160

1.2283

.1067

2020

1.0272

.20

1.2272

.0011

2021

.8790

.24

1.1190

.1082

2022

.8546

.24

1.0946

.0244

Proposed 2023

.7270

.24

.9670

.1276


How much will my taxes be if both propositions pass?

School property tax is calculated by taking the value of the home as appraised by the Medina or Frio County Appraisal Districts, subtracting the homestead exemption, then dividing this amount by $100 and applying the school tax rate to the result.  If the homestead exemption is voter approved at $100,000 and you have a house valued at $150,000, then it would look like this: 

($150,000 - $100,000)/$100) X .9670 = $483.50/year for 2023.


The chart below shows what your school tax bill would be based on different home values and four possible outcomes of the election.


Appraised Value of Home

Less Homestead Exemption

2022 Annual School Tax

2023 Annual School Tax if both props pass 

(0.967)

2023 Annual School Tax if only the Bond passes (0.937)

2023 Annual School Tax if only the VATRE passes (0.967)

2023 Annual School Tax if both props fail (0.937)

$100,000

$0

$656.76

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$150,000

$50,000

$1,204.06

$483.50

$468.50

$483.50

$468.50

$200,000

$100,000

$1,751.36

$967.00

$937.00

$967.00

$937.00

$250,000

$150,000

$2,298.66

$1,450.50

$1,405.5

$1,450.50

$1,405.50

This chart assumes a $100,000 homestead exemption.

Please direct questions to the Central Office at 830-851-0795 or by email at [email protected].



August 23, 2023

DISD Board of Trustees Adopts Reduced Tax Rate and Calls for November Election

The Devine ISD Board of Trustees adopted a tax rate of $0.9670 which is a reduction of over $0.12 from last year and unanimously voted to call for an election in November. The two propositions to appear on the ballot includes a $11.255 million bond which will be used for capital improvements for the safety and security of DISD campuses and a $0.03 voter-approval tax ratification election, also known as a VATRE, which will generate an additional $966,466 each year to be used to fund salaries, supplies, and other items in the yearly operating budget. This action was taken at the regular monthly meeting, Monday, August 21, 2023. If both propositions are approved by the voter, the overall tax rate will still be reduced from the 2022 tax rate. The total 2023 tax rate would be $0.9670, which is $0.1276 less than the 2022 tax rate.
Todd Grandjean, Superintendent for Devine ISD, stated that more information will be available in the coming weeks in relation to the specifics of these initiatives and community input will be a key component during the entire process.


August 30, 2023

Tax ratification, bond election date set for Nov. 7


At its monthly meeting Monday, August 21, DISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to call for a $11.255 million bond election and a voter-approval tax ratification election (VATRE) for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

What is a VATRE?
VATRE stands for Voter Approval Tax Ratification Election. A VATRE is triggered when the school board adopts a Maintenance and Operations tax rate above the compressed rate. The compressed rate is .6970 cents and the board adopted a rate of .7270 cents which is three cents higher than the compressed rate.

The DISD tax rate that is on the homeowner’s tax statement consists of two board-approved tax rates, M&O and I&S. M&O stands for Maintenance and Operations, and the funds are used for the daily operations of the district, including salaries, supplies, and minor building repair and maintenance. I&S stands for Interest and Sinking, and the funds are used to pay off voter approved bonds.

Why did the board approve an M&O tax rate higher than the compressed rate?
Starting in 2019, the state began compressing the school tax rate by reducing DISD’s M&O tax rate by 17 cents, which were voter-approved pennies. The first eight of these pennies are called “golden pennies.” (They are called golden pennies because, if voter-approved, they can be leveraged, or used, to garner more state funding.) At the time, the school board was able to adopt a resolution allowing the district to retain five of these golden pennies. The voters must approve the three golden pennies still remaining; therefore, the board approved the tax rate at three cents higher than the compressed rate in order to trigger an election to ask the voters for approval. These three pennies will generate approximately $202,097 from the local property taxpayer, which will then be leveraged to receive an additional $746,369 in funding from the state. Additional funding is automatic if the voters approve the additional three cents. If voters do not approve adding these three pennies, then the district does not get the additional state funding.

If I vote in favor of the VATRE, how much will it cost me?
If the voters approve the three pennies, the M&O tax rate would go from the compressed amount of .6970 cents to .7270 cents. To figure your cost, take the appraised value of your home minus exemptions, divide by $100, then multiply the result by .7270. If the homestead exemption stays at $40,000 and you have a house valued at $100,000, then it would look like this:
($100,000 - $40,000)/$100) X .7270 = $436.20/year for 2023.
While it is true that this is $18 per year higher than the compressed rate, it is still $76.56 less than what the taxpayer paid in 2022. If the homestead exemption is increased to $100,000 by voter approval, the homeowner in this scenario would pay no school taxes (please see tables at the end of this article). While the district cannot guarantee that voters will approve the $100,000 tax exemption, historically, voters have approved increasing the exemption. In 1997, voters approved an increase by 77.5%; in 2015, by 86%; and in 2022, by 89%.

Why is the board calling for another bond election after the voters said “No” in May?
Funding sources for the identified capital improvements are only available through voter-approved bonds. Proposition A on the May ballot was defeated by only 39 votes. Because the state is compressing the tax rate and asking the voters to increase the homestead exemption, the district has a unique opportunity to attain funding that will increase salaries, make capital improvements for the safety and security of all campuses, while still reducing the tax rate.

If approved, what projects will be funded by the $11.255 million dollar bond?
If approved by the voters, this bond election proposition will give priority to improving the safety and security of DISD campuses. In the fall of 2022, the district formed a facilities committee with over 40 community members, parents, teachers and business owners. This committee met over the course of three months to identify and prioritize district-wide improvements. The committee recommended that the board call for a $32.2 million bond election to address these improvements. The district administration, along with input from staff and community members, will re-evaluate the proposed projects from the May Bond election to determine how to best utilize the funds to maximize the safety and security of our campuses.

If the $11.255 million bond is approved, how will my personal taxes be impacted?
The tax rate will not increase if the bond election is approved. The I&S (interest and sinking) portion of the school tax rate is used to pay off voter-approved bonds. This portion of the school district tax rate is decided on by the board of trustees based on the amount of money required to make the yearly bond payment. There will be no increase to the current 24 cent I&S tax rate as it is sufficient to fund the entire $11.255 million proposed bond.

However, your tax bill is determined not only by the school district tax rate, but also by the valuation of your home. The school tax rate will go down, but your property tax bill could increase because of increased appraised values.

What will be on the ballot in November?
The school will have the Bond Election and the VATRE as two separate propositions on the ballot. The voters can approve one or the other, both, or none. The state will also have several constitutional amendments on the ballot, one of which is to increase the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000, which would further reduce property taxes if voter approved.

How much will my taxes be affected by the passage of both the bond and the VATRE?
School property tax is calculated by taking the value of the home as appraised by the Medina or Frio County Appraisal Districts, subtracting the homestead exemption, then dividing this amount by $100 and applying the school tax rate to the result.

The following table shows the expected impact on school tax if both school propositions are approved and the State Constitutional Amendment to increase the Local Homestead Exemption to $100,000 is approved.

Prop Tax Chart 1

The following table shows the expected impact on school tax if both propositions are approved and assumes the Local Homestead Exemption remains at $40,000.

Prop Tax Chart 2


If you are interested in serving on a committee to help prioritize capital improvement projects, please contact the Central Office at 830-851-0795.

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