LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - With rising insurance rates, school facilities in need of repair and more, Lufkin ISD is looking for a way to raise additional funding.
"When you have that many students that go through your facilities, there's just things that we're always having to say, we'll fund this next year," said LISD Chief Financial Officer Charlotte Bynum. "But sometimes, things can't wait until the next year."
The school district decided the best way to get the funding was to go before voters with a tax ratification election tax swap. The question is, how does a tax swap work?
"You have two part to your tax rate," explained Bynum. "You have your M&O rate which is your mutinous and operations rate, which funds everything for you school district. I&S stands for interest and sinking and that's to pay for the bonded indebtedness to your school district."
Currently the M&O rate is $1.04 and the I&S rate is $0.17, a total tax rate of $1.213. The tax swap would take 13 pennies from I&S and move them to M&O. Why?
"The reason this is beneficial to do is because the state gives you more money for the pennies on the M&O side than the I&S side."
That means the tax rate would stay at 1.213, but the school board would end up with an estimated extra $3 million that they could certainly use. Better yet, it's no extra cost to the tax payer.
Realizing that numbers and tax rates can get confusing, LISD has been meeting with community groups explaining how the tax swap works so they can then spread the word throughout the community.
"They seem to think it's a really complicated issue but when you actually look at how it works, they seem to really be able to understand it," Bynum said.
LISD has also put all of the information on the tax swap on their website. They also made a video explaining how everything works, hoping it will help get the vote out.
"Get informed, get educated," Bynum said.
Election day is November 3rd, but LISD is offering early voting October 19th-30th at several locations which are posted on their website at lufkin.schoolfusion.us/