DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to ask voters for the district’s first tax rate increase in more than a decade.
The ballot measure voters will weigh in on this November would raise the district’s maintenance and operation tax by 13 cents — from $1.04 to $1.17, the highest rate the state allows.
The average home in the district, worth an estimated $263,000, would be taxed an extra $264 a year.
Dallas ISD, in return, says it would generate an additional $126 million a year.
“It’s always a difficult sell to ask people to give more money from their personal pocket, but I think people understand there’s a greater good,” said Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.
Thursday marked the third time in three years the board had voted on TRE or Tax Ratification Election but only the first time they’d approved one.
Trustee Justin Henry was the only new trustee at the table since the measure failed to pass last year. His vote was considered key. “I do understand the responsibility of this vote and the weight of this vote,” he said. “The onus is on us. Are we willing to sacrifice a little to give our kids a lot?
This year, only one trustee, Joyce Foreman, voted against the proposal. “My constituents have overwhelmingly told me they do not want a property tax increase,” she said.
Superintendent Hinojosa said over the next five year the additional funds would be used to pay for early childhood education programs, pay raises, and the opening of more “choice” schools.