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School Board Weighs November Bond and Tax Swap Election

Aug 03, 2018

Frisco ISD voters may be asked to consider two separate ballot measures in November that would generate millions of dollars in additional funding for daily operations while lowering the total property tax rate for taxpayers.

A group of FISD community members, parents, students and staff unveiled a $695 million bond proposal Thursday to fund future new facilities, renovations and other upgrades. An additional $27.7 million in operational funds would be needed to support the proposed bond projects.

In addition, the Facilities & Programs Evaluation Committee identified another $29.8 million in operational needs that cannot be addressed through a bond program, such as smaller class sizes, expansion of choice programs and competitive compensation.

The recommendations would allow the District to:

  • Meet the needs of enrollment growth
  • Promote student opportunity
  • Enhance safety and security
  • Maintain, refresh and renovate existing facilities
  • Upgrade instructional technology
  • Recruit, retain and support high-quality employees

To fund the bond proposal and address the operating recommendations, District leaders recommend the School Board simultaneously call a bond election and Tax Ratification Election. See details here

The proposed Tax Ratification Election would increase the maintenance and operations (M&O) tax rate by 13 cents. FISD would then decrease the interest and sinking (I&S) tax rate by 15 cents, resulting in a 2-cent reduction to the combined property tax rate. This would bring FISD’s combined tax rate from $1.46 per $100 valuation to $1.44 per $100 valuation, the second lowest school district tax rate in Collin County.

This is sometimes called a tax swap, or tax swap and drop, because it moves pennies from the portion of the tax rate that pays for debt to the portion that pays for daily operations, all while lowering the overall tax rate. For FISD, it would generate millions of dollars in additional funding for day-to-day expenses, while also allowing the District to issue additional debt to maintain existing facilities and build new schools to meet the needs of growth.  

By law, the School Board must decide by August 20 whether or not to call for a November election. Trustees have the flexibility to accept, reject or modify the recommendations.

A possible election will be a topic of discussion at the upcoming regular School Board meeting on Monday, August 13. The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the FISD Administration Building, 5515 Ohio Drive. It will also be streamed live online at http://friscoisdtx.swagit.com/live.

Follow the links to learn more about the recommendations and work of the Facilities & Programs Evaluation Committee.

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