Though the proposed tax rate in the coming fiscal year in Pflugerville ISD is the lowest it has been in 30 years, the figure still exceeds what the state allows.

During an Aug. 18 regular meeting, PfISD Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Land presented to the board documents showing the total taxable valuation within the district went up from $17.6 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year to $22.16 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year, representing an increase of about 26%.

Subsequently, the stark rise in valuation means that a proposed rate of $1.2646 for 2022-23—about $0.12 lower than last year's rate of $1.388—is still in excess of what is legally allowed by the state's Senate Bill 2, which caps property tax revenues at 3.5% over the previous year.

Following an assessment of fiscal need for the 2022-23 school year at the Aug. 18 meeting, officials at Pflugerville ISD voted to accept the proposed tax rate.

That approval required the board to subsequently approve a voter approval tax ratification election, or VATRE, to take place in November.

Specifically, a VATRE is required because the approved rate exceeds what is called the no-new-revenue rate of $1.11 by 21.4%, according to district documents.

Notably, officials initiated a VATRE last November, but the measure failed.

"We need this VATRE to maximize our state and local revenue," Land said, adding the passage would net the district about $6.9 million for the 2022-23 school year at a cost of about $100 for an average taxpayer within PfISD.

District documents specify that with the new rate, the PfISD portion of a property owner's tax bill will see an increase this year of $161.81 per $100,000 of valuation.

Trustee and board President Vernagene Mott said at a July 14 board meeting that the district needs to become much more savvy about marketing the election.

At the same meeting, Land said the projected shortfall without a VATRE could be up to $11.2 million, and added a successful VATRE could bring the projected 2022-23 district deficit to as low as $3.7 million.