Q: How many times has Valley
View ISD called a Tax Increase election in the past four years and how many more will there be?
This is the fourth Tax Rate election called by Valley View ISD in the past four years. We don't think this will
be the last, even if it passes.
They first tried to raise the M&O rate in the Fall of 2009
from $1.04 to $1.17. That failed by a Two to One margin.
In 2010, they called another election to raise the M&O
rate from $1.04 to $1.12. They said that net taxes would not go up. The explanation was that the state of Texas
has a better match for M&O taxes than debt service taxes so they wanted to move the eight cents in debt service taxes
to M&O which passed in the Fall of 2010. They took advantage of a quirk in the law that allowed them to call the
election on a date of their choosing with less than 60 days notice. The reason the legislature usually requires all
elections to be on the second Saturday in May or the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November is to encourage
voter turnout. As a result of calling a special election on a special day, voter turnout was very low and it passed.
They tried for a bond election in the amount of $12 Million in May 2013 which failed with a high voter turnout.
now want to issue new bonds in the amount of $9.8 million. The total improvements have grown from $12 Million in May
to $14 Million now. They plan to finance some of the rest with Lease Purchase agreements and other forms of debt that
don't require taxpayer approval. That is phase 1 of a $21.5 million capital improvement program most recently presented
to the VVISD Board in January 2013. A copy of that presentation is available on this web site. The $9.8 million
dollar bonds will raise the Valley View ISD tax rate by about 27.5 cents to $1.395, the second highest tax rate in Cooke County
and only half a penny, (.005) below the highest, $1.40. The bond resolution allows an interest rate up to the maximum
allowed by law so the tax rate could be quite a bit higher if rates go up.
Mr. Stokes indicated to the board that he
wants to wait a few years to call another bond election to cover the remainder of the capital improvement program. We
are estimating the added tax for those bonds to be about 21 cents for a total tax rate of $1.605. Of course, if construction
costs or interest rates go up, that tax rate could be higher.
We believe the answer is Yes, we will continue to see
more elections to increase the tax rate, even if this latest 27.5 cent tax increase passes.