Early Voting Underway for ‘Swap & Drop’ Tax Proposition
The Wichita Falls ISD is asking voters to support a proposal that will lower the overall tax rate for citizens within the district. The proposal, dubbed 'swap & drop' will lower one of the two tax rates to zero, increase a second rate and result in a net reduction. Here's how the proposal works:
Currently, the WFISD has two tax rates that make up the overall rate-the maintenance & operations rate and the interest & sinking rate. The interest & sinking rate, or I & S funds, can only be used to repay bond debt. The maintenance & operations or M & O funds, can be used for all other expenses, such as employee salaries, building maintenance, academic programs, etc..,.
The proposal on the ballot would lower the I & S rate from $.18 to zero, increase the M & O rate from $1.04 to $1.17. Additionally, the increased rate on the M & O side would mean more matching dollars from the state. The rate 'swap' would result in $1.4 million additonally coming from Austin. Currently, 13 other surrounding districts have their M & O rates at $1.17. Wichita Falls is currently at the bottom of the list, in 14th place, in terms of revenue per pupil.
The WFISD board has already adopted an ordinace to lower the rate immediately if the proposal is approved by voters. But it will only happen if voters vote yes on the proposal. Early voting continues thru June 11. Early voting locations are at the WFISD Administration offices at 1104 Broad and at Sikes Senter Mall. Election Day is Saturday, June 15.