Clear Creek ISD’s board unanimously called for a voter-approval tax rate election, also known as a VATRE, at its Aug. 21 meeting with the hopes of adding additional revenue to help close a shortfall in its fiscal year 2023-24 budget.

The gist

Voters within CCISD will have the choice in November to decide if the district is allowed to add an additional $17.4 million to its budget—a number identical to that of its projected shortfall in the district’s 2023-24 budget.

The district in a similar fashion approved its new tax rate for the upcoming tax year, which, if the VATRE is approved in November, will come out to $0.9746 per $100 valuation of a home.

Originally, the district was capped by the state at a tax rate of $0.9446, according to district documents. However, a VATRE was triggered automatically due to the board approving a rate beyond that threshold.

Taxpayers can expect to see savings in their tax bill this year due to recent legislation, Senate Bill 2, which will reduce tax rates around the state.

A home valued at $350,000 that saw a 10% increase in value in the past year can expect to save about $750 on their tax bill. If the VATRE passes in November, that number would become $670, according to district documents.

How we got here

CCISD, like many other school districts, is facing budgetary issues due to rising costs, federal money drying up and lack of help from the state.

As a result, district officials in the past few months have looked to build support for a possible VATRE as a way to remedy the financial gaps.

Board President Arturo Sanchez at the board’s Aug. 21 meeting hit on the need for the revenue to keep the district’s quality and hit on the lack of funding from the state in this year’s legislative session.

“We do not see the ability to not consider this going forward, especially given the challenges from this legislative session,” Sanchez said.

What else?

In addition to approving the VATRE, the CCISD board also approved the fiscal year 2023-24 budget and called for a $302 million bond to appear on the Nov. 7 ballot. The bond moneys would fund upgrades to district facilities.