Frisco ISD considers $695M bond election, tax ratification election for November ballot

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Two years after voters turned down a Frisco ISD tax ratification election, the district could be calling for another TRE as well as a bond election. This time, however, the district’s combined tax rate could be decreasing.

On Thursday, FISD staff proposed adopting a tax rate of $1.44 per $100 valuation, two cents less than the current tax rate. According to the district, the proposed tax rate, if adopted, is expected to remain the same for the next two to five years.

“[Reducing the tax rate] would make us the second lowest school district tax rate in Collin County and the fourth lowest school district rate in Denton County,” FISD Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Smith said.

The interest and sinking tax rate, which pays for debt from the issuance of bonds, is proposed to decrease by 15 cents this year. In turn, the maintenance and operations tax rate is proposed to increase by 13 cents.

According to state law, an M&O tax rate adopted by a school board that is more than the district’s rollback tax rate must be approved by voters. FISD called a TRE in 2016 for the first time in its history when the district proposed increasing the M&O tax rate by 13 cents. Nearly 60 percent of voters turned down the proposed increase, and the district had to move forward with a combine tax rate of $1.46.

The difference this year is that the I&S tax rate is proposed to decrease. This is what the district calls a tax swap wherein one tax rate increases while the other decreases.

FISD’s Facilities & Programs Evaluation Committee also proposed a $695 million bond proposition to fund renovations to aging facilities, construction for new buildings and new technology, among other projects. Some of the projects proposed in the possible bond this year include constructing four new schools, acquiring land for future schools and upgrading older facilities.

Committee co-Chairwoman Debbie Pasha said the projects proposed in the bond were all based on the need to accommodate the unceasing growth of the district as well as placing the needs of students at the forefront of the recommendations.

“[FISD is] still exceeding any of our fellow districts, and we know that the growth is continuing,” Pasha said.

If approved by the FISD board of trustees, both the TRE and the bond could appear on the November ballot. The board’s next regular meeting is Aug. 13, and it has until Aug. 20 to call an election.

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Lindsey Juarez
Lindsey has been involved in newspapers in some form since high school. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. While attending UTA, she worked for The Shorthorn, the university's award-winning student newspaper. She was hired as Community Impact Newspaper's first Frisco reporter in 2014. Less than a year later, she took over as the editor of the Frisco edition. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics and issues important to the community, including the city's affordable housing shortage, the state's controversial A-F school accountability system and the city's "Bury the Lines" efforts.
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