School Bond Tax Estimates Released

School Bond Tax Estimates Released

The new 2015 school bond may not be a large

for Wichita Falls residents, according to school officials. School Board members for the Wichita Falls Independent School District say the $59.5 million bond proposal would require taxpayers to pay the same amount they were paying two years ago.

In the 2013-2014 school years, taxpayers were paying $1.20 toward education. In 2014-2015, those tax rates decreased to $1.13.  If the new bond passes taxes would end up costing $1.22.

"I do think it would be a good idea for them," said Wichita Falls resident Phillip McWhorter.  "It's a good stepping stone. It will help kids get educated better for the future."

The $59.5 million bond would go toward different areas across the district:

New Career and Technical Education Facility-    $35,750,000
Additions and Renovations at Barwise, Kirby and McNiel Junior High Schools- $25,000,000
Security Improvements at existing facilities- $500,000
Technology Infrastructure- $500,000
Stadium Parking and Restroom Improvements to Memorial Stadium- $1,750,000
The total cost Improvements to improvements- $63,500,000

Wichita Falls ISD would front $4 million, with the remaining cost heading to Texoma taxpayers.

“You know, it's not really going to affect us that much. It's going to be about the same we were paying in 2013. So I think it would be a good thing to have,” said McWhorter.

School Board officials further broke down those estimates by saying the average homeowner would pay about $7 for a $100,000 home. But other residents say the cost outweighs the benefits.

 “I think it's a good idea for our education,” said Ernest Hernandez, another Wichita Falls resident. “But as far as raising our taxes, I don't like it.”

Hernandez said he has gotten used to paying those decreased rates and says any increase, no matter the size, would be a burden.

“They raise our taxes up for everything and you know, our wages are not increasing so I really wouldn't vote for it,” he said.

 School officials say even if the bond passed Wichita Falls ISD would still have one of the lowest tax rates in Wichita County. Early voting for that bond is just about a month out. Polling opens up April 27th in Wichita Falls, and Election Day is May 9th.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6