RESULTS: Residents reject Klein ISD Tax Ratification Election proposal for 9-cent tax rate increase

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Updated June 16 at 10:05 p.m.

Klein ISD voters came out against the Tax Ratification Election on Saturday that would have raised the district tax rate by 9 cents to $1.52 per $100 valuation. A total of 4,136, or 45 percent of voters, voted in favor of the measure, and 5,063 or 55 percent of voters, opposed it. A total of 9,119 voters, or 6.1 percent of those registered in the district, participated in the election.

All votes are unofficial until canvassed.

“I appreciate all who voted in the election,” KISD Superintendent Bret Champion said after polls closed. “We will continue to work to ensure that every student enters with a promise and exits with a purpose.”

Judy Rimato, associate superintendent for communications and planning, said the district will now plan to make about $30 million in cuts.

“We would like for the community to know that we will be working to determine where the $30 million will be cut, and we will look first for ways that affect students as minimally as possible,” Rimato said. “We will continue to be fiscally responsible while providing excellent education opportunities.”

Posted June 16 at 7:42 p.m.

Early and absentee voting shows a very close race in the Klein ISD Tax Ratification Election held June 16. KISD’s proposal to raise the maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate by 9 cents received a total of 3,025 votes, or 48 percent, while 3,275 voters, or 52 percent, were against it.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

As of June 12, the final day of early voting, the office of Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart reported that 6,114 early votes had been cast—including both in-person and mail votes—and 4,644 ballots-by-mail had been sent to voters. A total of 151,142 voters are registered in the district, according to the county clerk’s office.

KISD asked voters to approve the 9-cent tax rate increase to raise the maintenance and operations portion of the district’s tax rate from $1.04 to $1.13 per $100 valuation. The proposed increased would bring the overall KISD tax rate to $1.52 per $100 valuation.

If the new tax rate is approved by voters, the owner of a house valued at $200,000 would see an increase of $157.56 on his or her annual tax bill next year, KISD Chief Financial Officer Dan Schaefer said.

A successful election would mean the district will raise an additional $28.8 million in revenue through state and local sources in the next three years. A portion of that is possible because the first two cents of the tax rate above $1.04 are designated by the state as “super pennies,” Schaefer said, meaning they generate more than twice the usual amount of state aid—$9.2 million in this case.

This, along with $8 million in budget cuts, would allow the district to shore up its fund balance through 2021 as well as fund several needed safety and security projects, Schaefer said.

If voters reject the increase, the district will need to make $30.2 million in cuts—an amount equivalent to more than 500 staff positions, Champion said.

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  1. You all do a really great job with this paper. Very informative and thorough reporting on all things impacting our community. 😉
    Seriously keep up the good work.

    • I was surprised that Klein ISD’s tax increase failed, but I am glad. This 9% tax increase is huge, plus 2018 property taxes overall is huge too. I am retired and the property tax is too high. Klein ISD needs to trimming costs starting with the top 50 administration pay and reduce these 50 positions to 30 or 40 – too many Chiefs. And don’t worry, 2019 property tax increases will begin in 6 months.

  2. Very happy this did not pass.
    The board needs to be fiscally responsible and not just increase taxes every time they are in a crunch. I have kids in the school, and there is plenty of room to reduce costs without affecting our great teachers.

  3. My children attended five different Klein district schools. After 30 years, the increase in property taxes is horrendous. Now retired, my biggest bill is property tax. So much for the over 65 exemptions. From what I see, the “glow” of outstanding and performance of students has been replaced with shiny new buildings and upgrading administrators.
    KISD is now to expensive and has lost it’s academic momentum. For that, you want me to pay 9% more? Heck no.
    Like other long time residents, KISD’s taxes are already excessive.
    I loved the response, 500 staff positions. Was that teachers or school district?
    Why choose a June vote with low turnout and nothing else on the ballot with little publicity?
    Glad it failed and dislike the process.

  4. I too am glad that this did not pass, we voters are fed up and we’re not blind to how Klein throws away thousands of dollars each school year; they know the changes that need to be made to manage their money more responsibly but until they have leadership that isn’t afraid to say “no”, this waste will continue; well done voters, we are not afraid to say “NO”.

  5. While I do agree fiscal cuts need to start at the top (our superintendent doesn’t need to be paid more than a quarter million a year in salary). Also, without touching a dime of academic funding, we can save millions by getting rid of tax payer funded sports programs across the board (let them be completely self funded by parents and boosters including the coaches!). The rest of the world is eating our lunch in education and we are still a hundred years behind created jocks, cheerleaders and farmers!
    Still we do need to reassess the tax situation because if Klein stops being a magnet for homeowners because of the quality of our education, our home values will drop like a rock as families flee to The Woodlands and beyond!

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Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of the paper in March 2017.
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