After a couple months of public meetings, changing tax rates and, in some cases, budgets having been approved, the Friendswood ISD and Pearland ISD boards will both consider calling a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, to help close their lingering financial gaps.

The overview

Both FISD and PISD are facing shortfalls in their respective budgets and have discussed in recent months holding a VATRE to help make up the differences.

Like other districts across the area and state, the FISD and PISD boards are each planning to meet Aug. 21—the last possible day to call an election for November—to consider holding a VATRE.

If each district approves moving forward with one, it will be left up to the voters in November to decide if they want to help cover their district’s shortfall. However, to call one, each board will need approval from a supermajority of trustees.

By the numbers

PISD, which approved its budget in June, is facing an estimated $12.7 million shortfall, with the hopes that the VATRE can produce around $11.1 million.

In terms of tax rate, the district would be able to approve a rate of $1.0473 per $100 valuation, which would be the maximum allowed by the state. The VATRE would add $0.09 to that for a total of $1.1373, officials said in August.

This is down from last year’s rate of $1.3027.

That tax rate reduction is expected to save about $764.18 on a tax bill for a home valued at $240,441, according to district documents. The VATRE, if passed in November, would reduce those savings by $216, reducing savings to $548. That comes out to about $18 per month.

FISD is looking at about a $2.45 million shortfall and has in the past projected a VATRE to shore up about $1 million of that.

District officials are getting set to ask for a tax rate of $1.08, which is down from last year’s $1.20, according to district documents.

If a school district approves a tax rate beyond the threshold allowed by the state, a VATRE is automatically triggered.

How we got here

Inflation, declining enrollment, drying up of federal funds and lack of further state support have put many districts, including PISD and FISD, in a bind financially, leading many to consider a VATRE or else be faced with budget cuts.

Both districts have also approved possible pay raises for employees that they’ve tied to the VATRE passing.

What’s next

The FISD board will meet at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 21 at 402 Laurel Drive, Friendswood. Meetings are not recorded.

PISD will hold its regular board meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 21 at 1928 N. Main St., Pearland. Its meetings are recorded and live streamed at