Carroll ISD trustees, still awaiting the outcome of the tax ratification election set for Sept. 15, gave their blessing to an $81.9 million budget this week.

The 2012-13 budget will make use of one-time money, including federal EduJobs funding and a roughly $855,000 payment the district received for royalties and real estate leases on flood control property around Lake Grapevine from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Minerals and Management Services, as well as the proceeds of a bus ridership fees being implemented this year. The remaining $2.8 million shortfall will be covered by the district's fund balance.

Employees will see a 1 percent pay increase as part of the approved budget, their first raise in as many as three years, as well as a one-time, supplemental payment accounting for a total $690,000 of the budget — $650 for full-time employees and $325 for part-timers.

The figures approved this week — and the $2.8 million shortfall that officials indicated — assumes the passing of the district's tax ratification election on Sept. 15.

The special election is asking voters to approve a 2-cent increase to the district's maintenance and operations tax rate, which this year is being softened by a 1.5-cent decrease in CISD's interest and sinking tax rate. This year, school officials say, the higher tax rate would result in $1.1 million for the district.

Residents, who have indicated strong support for a 2-cent TRE on past district surveys, will see an average $23.38 increase in their school taxes in the coming year if the measure is approved next month. If the TRE fails Sept. 15, the average CISD resident whose home's taxable value is $467,580 will see their taxes decrease about $70.14, as the decrease to the I&S portion of the tax rate has already been approved.

Should the TRE fail, Carroll ISD's 2012-13 budget will have a shortfall of $3.9 million. Trustees will consider additional cost-cutting measures at that point, including changes to student schedules or programs, adjusting class sizes, further cutting staff and faculty positions, and selling district property. Any remaining shortfall will be covered by pulling from fund balance.

CISD officials will host a public meeting on the TRE next Thursday, Aug. 30, in the Johnson Elementary School gym. The 7 p.m. forum will offer an overview of the district's financial situation, information on the TRE and a question and answer period.

Early voting for the TRE runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 11 on the third floor of Southlake Town Hall, and Election Day voting will run from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in the art building at Carroll Senior High School. For more information on the district's budget situation, visit