Tax Ratification Elections

Texas law requires school districts to calculate two tax rates - the effective tax rate and the roll back tax rate - after the district receives the certified appraisal roll or certified property value estimate from the chief appraiser.

Generally, if a school board adopts a tax rate above its rollback tax rate, it must hold an election to rectify that rate (a tax ratification election or TRE). School districts can increase their Maintenance & Operations tax rate to a maximum of $1.17 if approved by voters through a TRE.

In September 2012, Carroll ISD conducted a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) for only two of the 13 available cents on the M&O tax rate. The district only chose a two-cent TRE because all of the money would have stayed in Carroll ISD and would not have been subject to recapture (Robin Hood). If the TRE had been called for the full 13 cents allowable by law, the Chapter 41 recapture laws would have been applied to tax collections for 11 cents. Only the tax collections on two cents would have stayed 100 percent in Carroll ISD.

The TRE was called as a result of an operating deficit due to a reduction in state funds under the school finance formula at that time.  CISD anticipated an $8 million operating deficit as a result of the state funding losses. The two cents on $100 assessed valuation would have created an additional $1.2 million in operating funds annually. The impact on the average homeowner would have been $25 per year.  The election, however, did not pass.

Although not all of the state funding cuts have been restored, Carroll ISD is not recommending a TRE at this time. It does remain an option should the School Board opt to call an election.