OISD voters approve tax ratification election

Published 7:14 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Things are looking a little brighter in Orangefield Independent School District this week.

According to Dr. Stephen Patterson, superintendent of Orangefield ISD, voters approved the district’s specially called tax ratification election (TRE) on Saturday, Oct. 3, by nearly a three to one margin. The TRE received 185 votes in favor of and 73 votes against.

“Tax ratification elections typically do not pass by this kind of margin,” Patterson said. “It’s great to know the community supports the students and the district. When you have an election like this approved by such a margin, that says a lot.”

While the election was approved by voters of the school district, it will be some time before district patrons see results from the increased funding for the schools.

“This is not like a bond election, where a company goes out and sales the bonds and you get a check in the mail,” Patterson explained. “This is a slow influx of money that comes from tax payments throughout the year. We will place that money to the side and address our needs by priority.”

According to Patterson, the Orangefield ISD Board of Trustees will be responsible for creating a priority list of items and the expenditure of funds for those priorities in order to continue providing students of Orangefield ISD with a wide-variety of educational opportunities.

Funding could be used in a variety of areas and needs, such as purchasing new school buses, improving technology opportunities across the district, providing training for teachers and vocational opportunities.

A total of 258 votes were submitted in the tax ratification election, which included 120 ballots during early voting. Of those 120 votes, 88 votes were in favor of the tax increase.

The TRE will help generate approximately $950,000 per year in additional funding for the school district. The district’s maintenance and operations rate is now $1.17, a 13-cent increase over the previous $1.04 rate.