Montgomery ISD trustees consider tax rate choice, order efficiency audit

On May 7, Montgomery ISD trustees authorized district leaders to order an effectiveness audit in relation to a possible Voter Approval Tax Rate Election, or VATRE, ballot initiative that would take place in November if it was triggered.

In a word

MISD faces a projected budget shortfall ranging from $3.7 million to $5.7 million for the 2024-25 fiscal year, according to a presentation at a May 7 special meeting by Superintendent Mark Ruffin. If approved, a VATRE could bring in between $1.4 million and $9 million more in total annual funding, depending on the level of tax rate increase the district decides to pursue.

If a board approves a tax rate higher than the voter-approved tax rate, then voters must consider the tax rate in an election, according to the Texas comptroller’s website. A VATRE must occur “on the uniform election date in November of the applicable tax year,” according to the comptroller’s website.

Trustees unanimously approved the effectiveness audit in the absence of Trustee Trey Kirby.

Quote to note

“(A VATRE) also gives us funds for each additional student that comes in, so if growth happens as they anticipate, we will benefit even more from the new students than we currently do,” said Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson.

Also note

On May 7, trustees also discussed conducting a community survey on a possible MISD VATRE to see what amount of tax rate increase the community would be open to.

Stay tuned

MISD trustees have not yet considered tax rates for the 2024-25 fiscal year and typically approve annual tax rates in August. MISD’s total tax rate for the 2023-24 fiscal year is $1.0487 per $100 assessment.