Midway ISD Board approves record tax cut, voter-approval tax rate election to be held

Midway ISD considering possible election on tax rates that would increase teacher pay
Midway ISD considering possible election on tax rates that would increase teacher pay(Ally Kadlubar)
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 8:34 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Midway Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved an unprecedented 18.5-cent drop in the Maintenance and Operation (M&O) tax rate, one that will involve voter voice in pursuit of $3.75 million of new revenue.

According to the district, due to the strategic financial moves, including early bond debt repayment, the District is poised to cut the Interest & Sinking tax rate by three cents without compromising debt commitments. The District can then access three cents on the M&O side of the equation – used primarily for salaries – without raising the overall tax rate.

The district will need voter approval to access the three pennies of M&O funds that have been offset by the three-cent decrease to the I&S tax rate.

This multi-step action follows in-depth discussions and careful financial analysis by the Board. Their review included examining the District’s financial stability, educational funding, and community priorities. Acknowledging the importance of lightening the tax load for locals, the Board unanimously approved the adjustment of (M&O) and (I&S) rates resulting in new revenue for the District and a historic tax rate decrease.

“Midway’s 2022 total tax rate of $1.12 was already at a 20-year low, but we’re excited to announce this further historic tax rate reduction enabled by state tax compression. All of our taxpayers will directly benefit from this rate reduction, and for many experiencing financial stress, we hope it will provide some relief,” said Board of Trustees President Pete Rusek. “This helps us make decisions to prioritize educational goals and ensure our district’s financial health without burdening taxpayers.”

Following the state tax compression and local I&S decrease, the final step in the process requires a tax rate election for the M&O rate.

The November voter-approval tax rate election will offer a platform for residents to directly impact the tax changes, ensuring that the community’s input shapes the District’s actions.

“It is important for voters to be aware that the only decision on the ballot is the proposed three-cent increase to the M&O tax rate,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen.