WFISD tax rate election faces opposition

What to know about Saturday’s WFISD election

WFISD tax rate election faces opposition

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The polls are ready for Saturday’s Wichita Falls ISD tax ratification election, which would change tax rates in Wichita Falls.

“This would raise our per-student funding up and get us more competitive with surrounding districts,” Board of Trustees President Elizabeth Yeager said.

The change would make the maintenance and operations rate $1.17, the max allowed by the state.

Raising the amount of state money the district gets in the process.

“For WFISD it means more revenue from the state, so we’d be able to pay off our existing debt but we’d have an additional 1.4 million to use for facilities maintenance or any other item we desire to use it for,” Yeager said.

In exchange the Board of Trustees would lower the interest and sinking rate from 18 cents to zero, dropping the total tax rate by five cents.

No voters say this is where the danger lies.

"One of the things that voters need to know is that the I&S rate can be raised at a later date by the school board without a public vote, and they can do this to pay existing debts,” No vote supporter Ed Stein said.

“This board has no intention of doing that,” Yeager said.

The new rate would save taxpayers about $50 per year based on a $100,000 home value.

If the I&S rate would be raised to the max of 50 cents later, it would cost $450 more each year.

Yeager says the board would only raise the I&S rate if taxpayers approve it for a bond.

“If we opt to build a new building or do anything significant that has to go to the voters for approval for us to take on new debt, and if the voters approve that then they would be approving that new tax rate that tax increase that would come with new debt,” she said.

“They promise they won’t but that’s the current board, we have politicians who get changed out by elections all the time,” Stein said.

Stein says some of those opposed don’t want to see that possible tax raise in the future.

“I know many no voters who are financially challenged, they’re paying a lot of taxes they truly are taxed enough already and they don’t want to see their taxes go up,” he said.

For a full list of voting locations, click here.

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