School officials to field questions about upcoming elections
The Krum and Sanger school districts have scheduled public forums to answer questions about their upcoming tax ratification elections.
On Sept. 6, both districts will ask voters to consider a 13-cent operations tax rate increase. School districts that increase their maintenance and operations tax rate above $1.04 per $100 valuation are required by the state to call a tax ratification election.
Krum has scheduled two public forums for Aug. 14 and 19, and Sanger will hold its public meeting Aug. 14.
The Aug. 14 meeting in Krum is slated for 6:30 p.m. at the Krum ISD Performing Arts Center and the Aug. 19 meeting is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the Krum Early Education Center. Sanger will conduct its Aug. 14 meeting at 6 p.m. at the Sanger High School auditorium.
Krum Superintendent Cody Carroll said the district’s 30-minute forums will include a PowerPoint presentation and literature for attendees.
Carroll has previously said the 13-cent increase, which would support day-to-day operating expenses, would generate an additional $1.3 million annually for the district. He said the additional revenue would allow the district to provide pay raises for employees and support facility and technology expenses.
Voters’ approval of the tax rate increase could boost salaries an additional $1,125 for employees on the salary schedule, increase pay an additional 1 percent for all other salary personnel and offer additional raises for auxiliary staff, he said.
In June, the Krum school board voted to increase the operations tax rate 13 cents and decrease the debt rate, which funds the district’s debt obligations, by 13 cents. If the 13-cent operations increase is approved, taxpayers will not see an increase to the overall $1.54 per $100 valuation tax rate, Carroll has said.
If the election fails, the district must revert or roll back the operations rate to $1.04. That would mean an annual decrease of $130 in property taxes for a house valued at $100,000, Carroll has said. If that occurs, Krum over the next four years will absorb deficits to its debt fund with $2.8 million from reserves.
Carroll said he’s hopeful the district has “a good turnout” for the two public forums.
“We would love to have anybody that has questions attend,” he said. “I just hope it’s an opportunity to clear up questions or concerns voters may have.”
The forum in Sanger will include a PowerPoint presentation and an overview of the tax ratification election and its impact on the district if approved by voters.
Sanger anticipates the 13-cent operations tax increase will generate an additional $1.6 million annually.
On July 14, the school board voted to set the district tax rate at $1.502067. That breaks down to $1.17 per $100 valuation for the operations tax and 33 cents for the debt tax rate, also known as interest and sinking.
When setting the ordinance, the board included a stipulation that stated if voters approved the operations tax hike, the district would lower its debt rate from 33 cents to 20 cents per $100 valuation to offset the increase to the operations rate.
Superintendent Kent Crutsinger has said the 13-cent debt tax rate reduction would essentially leave the district with a $1.37 per $100 valuation tax rate and no tax rate increase.
If the election fails, the operations tax rate would revert to $1.04 per $100 valuation, and the interest and sinking tax rate would remain at 33 cents per $100 valuation.
The overall tax rate would remain $1.37 per $100 valuation, and Sanger would generate no additional funding, district officials have said.
Crutsinger said the public feedback he’s received for the operations tax rate increase has been positive.
People have said if the district can generate an additional $1.6 million and keep the overall tax rate the same, they’re “all for it,” he said.
Early voting for both tax ratification elections will be from Aug. 20 to Sept. 2.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.
On the Web
The Krum and Sanger school districts created Web pages with content related to their Sept. 6 tax ratification elections and voting location information. For more details, visit the following sites:
Krum — http://bit.ly/1mnoa04
Sanger — http://www.sangerisd.net/Page/4415