BRYAN, Texas—Early voting for the Bryan ISD Tax Ratification Election is underway for a few more days.
Bryan ISD’s property tax rate is made up of two sides—Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S).
According to BISD, M&O pays for teacher salaries, equipment, transportation, and other daily costs.
The other side, I&S, is what the district uses to pay off debts like voter-approved school bonds.
The BISD Board of Trustees decreased the I&S rate by $.03 this year.
In this tax election, BISD is asking voters to consider raising the M&O side by $.02.
If approved, this would mean a modest tax decrease for tax payers.
Plus, the decision could dramatically affect the students and teachers in Bryan ISD in the form of something called golden pennies.
“This triggers a certain pot of money out of Austin called golden pennies. In essence, the district gets extra compensation from the state if we raise our maintenance and operations tax rate by two cents,” said Brandon Webb, Bryan ISD spokesperson.
“So, a vote for this generates an additional $4.5 million dollars. Three million of that is brand new revenue from the state year after year after year,” he added.
The district said some of that extra revenue would go toward teacher salaries and transportation costs to purchase new buses.
According to BISD, they’re looking at a $3.5 million deficit in their budget.
If this tax election fails, the district would not be able to fill that gap, and may have to dip into their savings.
Bryan ISD wants the public to know that this election comes down to generating more money for students and teachers in the district.
“There’s a lot of confusion with the election, because people wonder ‘is it true that our taxes are going to go down a little bit and the district is going to receive additional money from the state of Texas?,” said Webb.
“What voters should know if nothing else, a vote for this initiative is a tax decrease that generates additional revenue for the school district from the legislature in Austin,” he added.
Early voting ends Oct. 6. The election will be held on Oct. 10.
© 2017 KAGS-TV