Dallas School Board To Discuss Tax Ratification Election To Make More Money For District | KERA News

Dallas School Board To Discuss Tax Ratification Election To Make More Money For District

Aug 17, 2017

The Dallas school board Friday night will consider whether to ask voters for more money this fall. At a special meeting, they’ll discuss a TRE — a tax ratification election.

Fort Worth approved one of these this week.

Three TRE options are on the table.

The biggest is 13 cents per $100 of assessed property value. That would raise $120 million for the district. To the average Dallas homeowner, that’s an added $220 in taxes a year.

Option Two is a 6-cent boost that would raise $70 million. Trustee Dustin Marshall favors either of these choices. He wants more money for ACE schools, which stands for Accelerated Campus Excellence, and other needs.

“In order to scale those programs, we’ve had to make some very difficult cuts, including librarians and compensation increases. So there are a lot of different areas that we’ve had to cut back in order to scale our most effective program I would like to see that funding reinstated,” Marshall said.

The third option is a 2-cent tax swap. That works differently. A small portion of the district’s tax revenues are reserved to pay off debt. A swap would move that money to another pot where it could be spent for programs or, say, librarians. But it would make future bond plans tougher.

That’s why Marshall’s not a fan. 

Trustee Audrey Pinkerton is, however. It doesn’t raise taxes, she says, and what’s more, it would supplement the $60 million recently found or re-routed from the annual district budget.

“The tax swap would give us another $42 million and so a total $107.5 million for strategic initiatives and programs that directly impacts the students. I think that’s enough,” she says.

Dallas trustees couldn’t get the votes for a TRE last year. If they settle on one of these three options this time, voters will have the final say Nov. 7.  

Correction: A previous version of this story said the meeting was Thursday night. It's Friday night.