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GOOSE CREEK ISD: Tax Swap vote this Saturday

Voters are asked to go to the Goose Creek office on IH-10 to vote from all over the district to ratify a Penny Swap or Tax Swap to net Goose Creek Consolidated ISD more revenue on September 10.

“A Penny Swap or Tax Swap is a tax ratification election that when voted into effect raises the General Operations Tax Rate while decreasing the Debt Tax Rate by a corresponding amount.

This results in no net tax rate increase for taxpayers. If approved, it would allow GCCISD to access additional state education dollars that the school district currently does not receive.” said Superintendent Randal O’Brien in Highlands recently.

The local tax rate is $1.43 for the district, currently $1.04 M&O and $0.39 I&S currently. That’s about $1,575 per year for a $150,000 house. The change is $1.17 Maintenance and Operation and 0.26 Interest and Sinking, so no total tax rate increase. The state allows $1.50 total for a tax rate.

When nearly 1/2 of all school districts in Texas sued the state due to inadequate and inequitable state funding by the 2011 State Legislature cutting $5.4 billion from the budget, it left school districts with unfairly distributed funding.

The Texas Supreme Court decided that the law meets minimum constitutional requirements. Then they pointed out that local districts have discretion to raise state funding through the local tax ratification process.

Goose Creek CISD wants to use the money for fine arts, Math, Science and Career Technical Education Programs, library media materials and supplies, Academic Technology and transportation.

“Stuff we had to cut back on recently,” said O’Brien.

The Tax paid by individual property owners would not change. The penny swap however was said to raise an extra $7 Million for Goose Creek CISD in spite of the fact that taxes do not go up.

Spending per student in Texas ranks in the bottom third of the U.S.A. On average Texas schools spend about $9,559 per pupil compared to $12,040 national average. The spending puts Texas 38th on dollars spent per pupil in the nation. Since 1990 the State of Texas is funding prisons and jails eight times faster than spending on schools. Texas has the largest disparity of any state of schools against prison funding.