A Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE), if approved by LCMCISD voters, would allow the district to receive an estimated 3 million—annually—in additional funding. This additional funding would be used for staff salaries, maintaining innovative technology initiatives, and immediate needed campus facility repairs and improvements.
With voter approval, LCMCISD will be granted $2 million in additional state revenue and approximately $922,179 in local revenue. This results in a total of $3 million per year ($2 million of that coming from Austin). Without these funds, LCMCISD's ability to support required safety and security requirements will be substantially impacted.
LCMCISD's starting teaching salary is $5,000 below West Orange-Cove CISD and most Beaumont area schools.
In the state of Texas, LCMCISD is in the bottom quarter of all school districts for per student funding.
The state legislature approved an increase in the value of the additional pennies to $126.21 for 23-24, $129.52 for 24-25, increasing the revenue lost to districts that do not have voter approval to receive these additional state funds.
Prior to this year, the state match has been too small. In 2023-2024, the state will now provide significant additional dollars to the district.
The total LCMCISD tax rate includes the operating (M&O) rate and the bond (I&S) rate. School tax rate is a combination of the operating rate (M&O) and the bond rate (I&S). If the VATRE is approved by the voters, the overall LCMCISD M&O tax rate will increase by 12 cents, but the overall LCMCISD tax rate will decrease by 23 cents.
The M&O rate will be $0.8412, which is 8 cents LOWER than the 2022-23 rate of .9225 cents.
The I&S rate has been lowered to $0.2200 by the Board of Trustees, which is 15 cents LOWER than 2022-23.
The total tax rate would be $1.0612. This is $0.2350 less than last year.
When property increases in value, your tax bill goes up.
Here's an example for an average house in Orange County assuming homestead exemption of $15,000 (15%) for a home valued at $100,000.00:
House in 2021 worth $100,000.00 – $15,000.00 local exemption – $25,000.00 state exemption = $60,000.00 taxable value x $1.3426 tax rate = $805.56 tax bill
House in 2022 worth $100,000.00 – $15,000.00 local exemption – $40,000.00 state exemption = $45,000.00 taxable value x $1.3425 tax rate = $604.13 tax bill
House in 2023 worth $100,000.00 – $15,000.00 local exemption – $40,000.00 state exemption = $45,000.00 taxable value x $1.0612 tax rate = $477.54 tax bill
Decrease of $126.59 on the same house for the year due to the increase in the state exemption. and a decrease of $328.02 since 2021. Therefore, with approximately 3,200 students in LCMCISD, the average homeowner will pay 23.5 cents less per year per child in LCMCISD, but that will generate an additional $3 million dollars in funding. Previously, the state has kept the majority of the increase in property values that generated additional funding. Under HB3 (House Bill 3) with voter approval in 2023, we can keep the local tax money generated for all children in LCMCISD.
What will the funds from the VATRE be used for?
Funds from the VATRE will be used for:
Raising teacher and staff pay to compete with area schools to hire and retain quality staff.
Maintain the new one-to-one technology initiative for LCMCISD students.
Needed campus facility repairs and improvements.
Where does the 8.81 percent revenue increase come from?
8.81% of the increased revenue comes from the increase between the no new revenue rate and the increase to the voter approved tax rate calculation and the state legislature additional tax rate compression. Therefore, although the district is increasing their operating revenue, the tax compression is decreasing the overall tax rate. The 8.81 percent is equal to the additional $2 million dollars in funding that will be used to fulfill the safety and security requirements as required by state law.
What will the ballot say?
The November ballot will ask voters to ratify the total tax rate, including the I&S (debt service tax rate), not just the M&O rate. The ballot language is set by state law and may lead voters to think the district is raising taxes, when in fact the overall tax rate is decreasing. The 8.81% percent is equal to the $922,179 in M&O taxes, the increase in tax revenue plus additional state revenue in the amount of $2 million, which totals approximately $3 million in additional funds for LCMCISD. District funds will also be impacted if the $100,000 homestead exemption passes also passes during the November election, which will cost the voters even less in local property taxes, but will increase state funding if this is approved by LCM voters.
The ballot will read as follows:
“Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of $1.0612 in the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 8.81% percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $922,179.”