Pearland ISD Voter-Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE) on November 3, 2020 ballot
A standout among local and state school districts, Pearland Independent School District has a history of excellence and innovation in fiscal management, as well as high student achievement. Pearland ISD’s Board of Trustees is continuing the tradition of world-class fiscal management by adopting the lowest overall district tax rate in at least 30 years.
The adoption of the tax rate has triggered a Voter-Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE), that, if approved, will generate additional funds from the state while also lowering the 2020-21 property tax rate by nearly 4 cents to reduce the burden on local homeowners. Trustees called the VATRE during the August 11 board meeting to be included on the upcoming November ballot. Election day is Nov. 3, with early voting from Oct. 13-30.
“The board expects education funding in the State of Texas will significantly decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Board president Charles Gooden Jr, said. “With this in mind, the board proactively took the opportunity to adjust the district’s tax rate to simultaneously extract more funding from the state while lowering the burden for local taxpayers. Pearland ISD’s control of the tax rate in the past and tax rate compression enacted by HB3 have given rise to this very special opportunity.”
On the ballot in November, the Pearland ISD VATRE will be referenced as an increase in local tax revenue. A vote FOR will garner an additional $10 million for the district.
The VATRE will provide the necessary funds for Pearland ISD to sustain the district’s 1:1 device initiative, enhance educational opportunities for all students, continue recruiting, supporting and retaining world-class employees, as well as help the district move toward advancing its strategic goals.
“This year, Texas has given school districts the ability to lower their tax rates and still receive higher revenues through a citizen (TRE) election. For our district, this means we can receive approximately $10 million more in revenue while still lowering our tax rate - through a vote by our citizens in November,” Superintendent Dr. John Kelly said. “In this pandemic era, and particularly with the required provision of both remote and on-campus learning, we are in great need of this additional revenue to maintain our high place in the forefront of Texas student achievement.”
Pearland ISD has earned state recognition for its cost-effective operations paired with high student achievement. The VATRE offers the ability for taxpayers to assist the district in continuing to provide world-class opportunities for our students.
“For the first time in district history, we are presented with a unique opportunity to increase funding for maintenance and operations and still reduce the district’s property tax rate by nearly four cents,” CFO Jorgannie Carter said. “For years, we have produced stellar graduates while keeping one of the lowest costs per student in the state; the additional funds generated will ensure that our district continues its high academic achievement by funding the unexpected costs created by a new model of education as a result of the pandemic.”
For information about registering to vote and voting locations, please visit www.votetexas.gov. In-depth detail and information regarding the Pearland ISD VATRE will soon be available on the district website at www.pearlandisd.org/vatre. To schedule an informative presentation about the VATRE for local clubs or organizations, please email Executive Director of Communications Kim Hocott at [email protected] or call 281.485.3203.