Board of Trustees adopts tax rate triggering Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election
On Monday, August 21, the Pearland Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to decrease the school tax rate, the lowest overall district tax rate in at least 30 years. The vote triggered a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE), that, if approved, would generate additional funds from the state while also lowering the 2023-24 property tax rate by 16.54 cents. The VATRE will be included on the upcoming November ballot. Election day is Nov. 7, with early voting from Oct. 23-Nov 3.
“Pearland ISD’s process to build Pearland proud and help maintain Pearland as a destination city requires continuous improvement and community support,” Pearland ISD Superintendent Larry Berger said. “Success is not free; we can ensure continued student and district success through internal budget adjustments and a tax rate adjustment to maximize tier 2 funding.”
On the November ballot, the Pearland ISD VATRE will be referenced as an increase in local tax revenue with the following language: “Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.1373 in the Pearland Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of -11.29 percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional -$9,390,248.”
The passing of the ballot would garner an additional $11.2 million for Pearland ISD and would mean an overall tax rate decrease.
The VATRE would provide the necessary funds for Pearland ISD to provide additional compensation to the district’s teachers and staff, allowing them to retain a competitive, high-quality workforce for students and community. It will also allow the district to continue offering high quality programs for students, maintain positions and systems ensuring student and staff safety, security and well-being, help reduce Pearland ISD’s budget deficit and maximize their maintenance and operations funding.
“Proposing a VATRE allows the voters to decide if investing in teachers, school safety and student programs is worth a smaller decrease in the school tax rate. Inflation and cost of living have impacted all of us, and as a community, we must decide the best path forward. Together, we will continue to serve the needs of our students,” Berger said.
A standout among local and state school districts, Pearland ISD has a history of excellence and innovation in fiscal management, having earned state recognition for its cost-effective operations, paired with high student achievement. The VATRE offers the ability for taxpayers to support the district to Build Pearland Proud.
“This year, our community has an opportunity to invest in our future without burdening their wallets,” Pearland ISD Chief Financial Officer Jorgannie Carter said. “Funds generated would be used to bridge the budget deficit, boost teacher pay, fund new safety mandates, enhance vital student programs and maintain the district’s high academic standards. Together we can ensure quality education without compromising our financial well-being.”
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 Cissa Madero, Pearland ISD Director of Communications, at email@example.com or call 281-485-3203.