Travis GOP joins diverse coalition opposing public school tax hikes

Posted on Oct 11, 2017 in Blog with comments

Edits made (10/26/17). See notes below.

AUSTIN -- On the heels of a press conference (pictured) opposing an unnecessary, billion-dollar Austin ISD bond package, the Travis County Executive Committee voted at its October meeting to not only oppose the AISD debt but also two other local school district tax hikes.

Travis County GOP Steering Committee member Don Zimmerman, Outreach Director Mike Lee, and Precinct Chairmen Tori Moreland and James Ritter stood with a diverse coalition with a united mission to expose the AISD bond's flaws. Representatives from the Gray Panthers and LULAC were also present, as well as former Austin City Council and GOP Texas House candidate Michael Cargill.

Below is the pertinent text of each resolution as approved.

Resolution Opposing 2017 AISD Bond
Whereas Austin ISD is proposing a $1.05 billion school bond proposition to AISD voters on the November 2017 ballot; and

Whereas AISD enrollment has dropped every year since 2012 and is projected to fall by an additional 4,000 students in the next ten years; and

Whereas the property tax burden to the average homeowner to pay this bond debt is at least $250 a year for the average homeowner.

Be it resolved, the TCRP opposes the Nov. 7, 2017 one billion-dollar AISD bond proposition and encourages AISD voters to reject it. ...
* * *

Resolution Opposing 2017 Leander ISD Bond
Whereas, LISD is asking for voter approval for a $454.4 million* bond proposal at this November’s election cycle; and
Whereas, LISD pays its teachers at the 2nd highest rate of all ISDs in central Texas; and
Whereas, LISD is already taxing at $1.51 per $100 of home value [...]*
Be it Resolved, that Travis County Republicans urge those voters within LISD that live within Travis County to reject this bond proposal ...
* * *

Resolution Against 2017 Lake Travis ISD School Bond
Be it resolved that the TCRP Executive Committee opposes the Nov. 7, 2017 [$253 million*] LTISD Bond and encourages votes Against it. ...

1. This blog post has been edited to reflect the amounts shown on the Nov. 7, 2017, sample ballot. The original version of this blog post reflected the bond amounts from the resolution (LISD $453.9M, LTISD $258M, AISD remains the same). The committee began their work in advance of changes to the LISD and LTISD amounts before final submission and before the committee was able to review a sample ballot.
2. The LISD resolution stated LISD had "the highest ISD taxing rate in the central Texas area." The total self-reported LISD ad valorem tax rate is $1.5119 per $100 valuation. It would appear at least two other Central Texas districts, Pflugerville ISD ($1.54) and Hutto ISD ($1.6655), have higher self-reported total ad valorem tax rates. This portion of the LISD resolution has been removed from this blog post.

Photo credit: James Ritter, Facebook.