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Voters In Dallas School District Will Decide On 13-Cent Tax Increase This Fall

Lara Solt for KERA News
The art class room at L.G. Pinkston High School in Dallas on April 4, 2018.

Residents in the Dallas school district will vote on a 13-cent tax increase this November.

The school board Thursday night approved a recommendation for an election on a proposal to raise the district’s maintenance and operating tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17 — the maximum state law allows. It's called a tax ratification election.

There has not been a tax increase since 2008. The district has tried twice in the last two years to push a tax increase proposal, but couldn't get the needed six-vote supermajority on the school board. That is, until last night when the proposal passed 7 to 1.

Dallas school board vice president Dan Micciche voted for the measure.

"A lot depends on whether or not we have the funding to continue the initiatives that are working and to pay our teachers and other employees, who dedicate their lives and tirelessly work to educate our kids," he said.

Joyce Foreman cast the lone dissenting vote.

A district statement said the extra $126 million a year generated would go towards early learning, racial equity, schools of choice and strategic compensation.

Election Day for Dallas ISD is Nov. 6.

Richardson, Lancaster, Cedar Hill and Duncanville ISDs are among North Texas school districts also holding tax ratification elections this year. The Lancaster ISD election is Aug. 25. The Cedar Hill ISD and Duncanville ISD elections will be held Sept. 8. The Richardson ISD election is Nov. 6.

Richardson says its 13-cent election would raise property taxes for the average house by about $25 a month. Lancaster and Cedar Hill ISDs say property tax rates would be lowered if voters approve their elections. Duncanville ISD says its tax rate would not increase if the election passes.

Correction: Elections for Cedar Hill ISD and Duncanville ISD will be held Sept. 8. The Lancaster election is Aug. 25. The story originally reported Election Day is Nov. 6. We've also included more details about the suburban district elections. 

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.