In August, the Pampa ISD School Board voted to conduct a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) to be held on Tuesday, November 2nd. The VATRE involves moving two pennies from the Interest and Sinking (I&S) side of school finance to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) side. The move will not raise the tax rate and will generate an estimated $600,000 for the district from the state. These two pennies are considered high yield pennies and are weighted in the funding formula to generate more money at the state level than at the local level. The move of the two pennies from the I&S side is possible because the district was able to refund the largest portion of their debt last February to a lower interest rate, thus saving the district $3,139,175 for the life of the debt. The roughly $185,000 saved annually from the refunding allows the district to reduce the I&S rate by two pennies. By moving the two pennies to the M&O and generating the additional income from the state, the district will be able to help PISD be more competitive in compensation and complete other projects. The additional $600,000 revenue from the state is provided annually, under current legislation.
The ballot will state: Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.2384 in Pampa ISD for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 0.97 percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district.
The wording is a little confusing because the overall tax rate will remain the same and will actually be slightly reduced. The two penny M&O increase is offset by the reduction of the two pennies from the I&S. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone (806) 669-4700, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person.
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