The McKinney school board voted Dec. 17 to place a measure on the May 2 ballot so voters can decide whether to pay the recapture payment through purchasing attendance credits. Recapture payments are used to redistribute funds from property-wealthy districts to those that are not as wealthy to encourage equity among schools. The district has been paying its recapture fees this way since 2014-15, a process as long as the amount of state aid received exceeded its recapture payment.
However, House Bill 3 passed during this year’s state legislative session now requires the district to hold an election to decide how the recapture fee is paid.
“It’s nothing new,” said Jason Bird, McKinney ISD’s chief financial officer.
If the measure does not pass, the Texas Education Agency would essentially detach properties from the district, which would eliminate their property tax revenues from MISD. The value of those properties are estimated at $840 million, according to the district.
But this measure means that MISD would lose that property tax revenue not only from its maintenance and operations side but also from its debt service.
That process also means the owners of those detached properties would then pay taxes based on another school district’s tax rate.
“The consequences of not getting it passed are just unacceptable,” board president Curtis Rippee said during the meeting.
District officials talked about the importance of educating voters in hopes of getting the measure passed.
“I assure the board members that we are well equipped to not only get this message out, but educate properly our community and get this thing passed,” Rippee said.