The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees voted on Monday, August 21 at the regular scheduled meeting to include a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) and a Bond Election on the November 7 ballot.
Registered voters that reside within Granbury ISD zoning will be able to vote on two propositions that will include teacher and staff raises with the VATRE, a new elementary school off Old Granbury Rd and Peck Rd, renovations to all six GISD elementaries and both middle schools, a new north transportation center with the purchase of 30 new buses, safety and security enhancements, implement additional instructional technology, and more. If voters approve the VATRE (Prop A) and the bond (Prop B) – totaling $151,725,000 – the proposed total tax rate will still decrease at 0.9342, which is six cents lower than last year’s rate (0.9996) while being the lowest tax rate in Hood County and one of the lowest in the metroplex.
“Granbury ISD is committed to providing the best possible education and experience for our students and a destination workplace for our teachers and staff,” Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Glenn said. “I’d like to thank our Board of Trustees for taking this action of calling for a VATRE and Bond Election to address important issues and needs across our district. We ask all eligible voters to become informed about the VATRE and bond and don’t forget to vote.”
The Granbury ISD School Board will also have two seats up for election on the November ballot: Place 1 and Place 2.
Granbury ISD residents will vote on the two propositions and school board election during Early Voting, October 23 – November 3, and on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7.
If the Voter Approval Tax Ratification Election (VATRE) is approved by the community to maximize state funding, the proposal would enable Granbury ISD to secure an estimated $8.2 million in additional annual funding while simultaneously reducing the overall tax rate.
The funding for Granbury ISD primarily comes from local taxes and state funds. Local taxes are divided into two funds: Maintenance and Operations (M & O) and Interest and Sinking (I & S). The M & O Fund covers day-to-day district operations, such as staff salaries, teaching supplies, and building maintenance, while the I & S Fund is used to pay off school bond debts, which finance new school construction and capital improvements.
As part of the state’s recent tax compression legislation the overall GISD tax rate will decrease. Rather than compress to the maximum rate under law, the Board of Trustees has set the total tax rate at just over 93 cents, comprising just under 79 cents for M & O and 14.5 cents for I & S. The ballot will show a total tax rate of just over 93 cents, down from last year's total tax rate of approximately 99 cents. Compressing the tax rate 6 cents will mark the eighth consecutive year Granbury ISD has lowered the overall tax rate.
If the VATRE measure is approved by voters, not only will the school tax rate decrease, the result will be more local and state funding for Granbury ISD. As mentioned earlier, the proposed 93 cent tax rate will generate an estimated $8.2 million in additional state revenue annually. The crucial point is that some of this new revenue will not be subject to the school finance recapture system, commonly known as Robinhood. In 2023, Granbury ISD sent over 11 million local tax dollars back to the state in recapture.
The additional funds would allow Granbury ISD to give pay raises to teachers and staff, add personnel to reduce student/teacher ratios in classrooms, and pay for security improvements on all campuses. It's essential to note that we are solely discussing the Granbury ISD tax rate, which is different from a homeowner's overall tax bill. Pending approval of Senate Bill 2, the local school district tax rate will decrease, and voters will receive a $100,000 homestead exemption; however, rising property values could still impact your overall tax bill. Also, homeowners who are 65 or older need to ensure they have a homestead exemption on file with the Hood County Appraisal District, which will freeze their school tax bill.
The $151.7 million bond proposal was formed after months of in-depth research and preparation with community members working with district leadership and personnel through the Strategic Planning and the Long-Range Planning Committees. Multiple assessments and analyses were made by the committees after visiting the district’s campuses to gather data based on needs for further improvements to go in the bond package. The Long-Range Planning Committee was tasked with developing a bond package that would be recommended for consideration to the Granbury ISD Board of Trustees.
Proposition B ($151.7M) that will appear on the ballot includes:
- A new elementary school off Old Granbury Rd and Peck Rd
- Renovations to all six elementary schools and both middle schools
- Acton Middle School expansion
- HVAC replacements at campuses
- Safety and Security enhancements throughout the district
- Instructional Technology
- New north transportation center to alleviate traffic
- Address traffic flow at campuses
- 30 new buses
- Central transportation center fuel tank replacement
Learn more about the bond and VATRE by visiting granburyisd.org/election2023 and stay tuned for more information leading up to November’s election.