Dear VISD Family Member,
We hope you are enjoying a “Fantastic Friday” across our “612 Square Miles of Excellence.” This past week the VISD released information regarding a 2017 Bond Proposal for the Victoria ISD that identifies $141,200,000 dollars of current needs to our school district. This bond addresses 30 total projects across all areas of the district that will improve facilities, enhance safety and security, update technology and communication infrastructures, increase community engagement and maximize student learning opportunities.
This comprehensive facilities assessment was developed and designed over the last two years. This proposal takes into consideration our current Interest and Sinking tax rate, past bond projects, the maintenance work that has been done across our school district to date, previous, present and future student enrollment counts of Victoria County and VISD student populations, current student classroom utilizations and future classroom capacity, the availability to support future student growth, the age of the facilities we are currently recommending for upgrade and a comparison of whether to renovate or provide new construction in regards to our facility needs.
Local school district tax rates are made up of the following: the Maintenance and Operations tax rate (M&0) which funds the operating costs of running the school district and the Interest and Sinking tax rate (I&S) which funds the debt service account (bond expenses). Currently the Victoria ISD has an M&O tax rate of $1.04 and an I&S tax rate of $0.2263 for a total tax rate of $1.2663. In 2012 the Victoria ISD had an I&S tax rate of $0.2926. In being intentional in our commitment to be financially responsible to our tax payers we have been able to reduce the I&S tax rate by 5.6 cents over the last five years. This was accomplished in part by refunding monies from Bond 1998 in November of 2014 for a savings of $2.4 million dollars and refunding bond 2007 in November of 2016 for a savings of $23.5 million dollars for a total savings of $25.9 million dollars to our local tax payers.
When comparing our current tax rate of $1.2663 to many of the surrounding school districts in the crossroads and school districts across the state with enrollment similar in size to the Victoria ISD, our current tax rate is lower in a majority of these comparisons. It is also important to note that if we still incurred the I&S tax rate of 2012 the 2017 Bond Proposal would be an increase of 1.8 cents.
The 2017 Bond Proposal would increase the I&S tax rate 7.4 cents for every $100 of assessed property valuation. An example of how an increase of 7.4 cents to the I&S tax rate would affect our tax payers can be found in the following example. A home owner with a home valued at $100,000 would have a projected yearly increase of $74.70. This would break down to a cost of $6.23 per month or $1.44 per week. Taxpayers that are the age of 65 or older are eligible for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption” which means there would be no tax increase on their residential property.
Of the $141,200,000 Bond Proposal, $99,075,000 would be directly committed to our schools and $42,125,000 would be spent on VISD projects that also benefit and enhance the community. Of the 30 projects that are proposed, 22 of these projects directly involve upgrading our campuses and technology infrastructure to enhance learning opportunities for students and extending the lifespan of these schools by another 30 to 40 years. Also included in the proposal is the construction of new campuses for Mission Valley Elementary School, Smith Elementary School, Shields Elementary School and Stroman Middle School.
Of the $42,125,000 planning proposal, $35,000,000 is allocated for the Multi-Activity Complex that will include a new football and soccer stadium with an 8 lane competition track, new restroom facilities, new concessions stands, new locker rooms, a new press box with an elevator, new stadium lights, a new scoreboard, a new sound system, new and resurfaced parking lots, a new softball and baseball field and a renovation of the current ROTC building. For further information or to view the 2017 Bond Proposal in its entirety we invite you to browse our website.
George Eliot once stated; “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” On behalf of our Board of Trustees and our entire school district, we thank you for your belief in our children, your commitment to excellence and your dedication to creating a future of hope and endless possibilities for “Every Child, Every Classroom, Every Day.”
You make us “VISD PROUD.”
Robert Jaklich, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Victoria Independent School District