The proposed $275 million bond package being put before EMS ISD voters this May involves a single proposition. School districts must comply with state law when it comes to ballot wording. Although the district does not anticipate a tax rate increase as a result of the proposed bond, the projects will be paid for through taxes collected on new construction and rising property values set by the Tarrant Appraisal District. This reliance on taxes to pay school bonds can be somewhat confusing for voters who hear that the bonds do not require a tax RATE increase.
School districts are required to include language on a bond referendum ballot that approval of school bonds will result in a property tax increase. If voters approve the proposed 2022 referendum, the taxes generated from increases in new construction and values on existing homes are estimated to generate enough additional tax revenues that the school district can complete the 2022 bond program without raising the tax rate or tapping into the district’s daily operational budget that funds salaries, supplies, utilities, and other operating expenses. As a reminder, taxes for citizens 65 and older are frozen and will not increase even if their property values increase.
It is important that voters who cast a ballot in the EMS ISD bond election know that the property tax language is required by the state and will read as follows with an option to vote “FOR” or “AGAINST” the measure. To ensure transparency, the official ballot language is provided below:
“THE ISSUANCE OF $275,000,000 OF BONDS BY THE EAGLE MOUNTAIN-SAGINAW INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES AND THE PURCHASE OF NECESSARY SITES FOR SCHOOL FACILITIES AND THE IMPOSITION OF A TAX SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE BONDS. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”