A bond is an agreement (between the school district and investors) that in exchange for money today, the school district will pay bondholders interest over the term of the bond and the principal once the bond matures. Texas school districts issue bonds to pay for major capital expenditures like new schools, expansions, or building renovations. School districts repay the bonds through revenue generated from interest and sinking property taxes (I&S). School district bonds are similar to a home mortgage in that the borrower repays the lender—in this case, investors—over time and in accordance with the terms of the bond sale.
The sale of bonds begins with an election to authorize a specific amount—the maximum the school district is allowed to sell without another election. Under state law, school districts must ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors to raise the dollars required for capital projects. When a bond is approved in an election, voters are giving permission for the school district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period. A school district Board of Trustees must order a bond election.
Under Texas law, proceeds from bond sales may only be used for items with a useful life of more than one year. Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure, equipment for new or existing buildings, and costs associated with managing the construction process. Bonds cannot be used for teacher salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance.
Yes, there is a school district property tax ceiling that limits school taxes to the amount residents paid in the year they qualify for the Age 65 or Older Exemption. A property owner qualifies for the Age 65 or Older Exemption effective January 1 of any year in which they turn 65. From that point forward, the school district tax levy on their property cannot exceed the frozen levy amount, even if the home value rises or the tax rate increases. Property Tax Exemptions (State Comptroller)
Register to vote by Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Early voting is Monday, October 23, 2023 to Tuesday, November 3, 2023
Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023