Copperas Cove ISD early voting starts Wednesday
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Early voting begins on Wednesday, August 22, for the Copperas Cove Independent School District tax ratification election, or TRE.
Polls are open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily through Friday, August 24, at the CCISD administration board room, located at 408 S. Main St.
Early voting will also take place on Monday, August 27, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Tuesday, August 28 through Friday, August 31, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and also on Wednesday, September 4, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Election day for the TRE is set for Saturday, September 8, at the Coryell County Justice Center, located at 201 S. 1st St. in Copperas Cove, with polls open 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The TRE was first recommended by CCISD administration and called for by the CCISD board of trustees in June 2018.
In its simplest terms, the TRE calls for voters to decide if the CCISD tax rate should change some of its allocation from interest and sinking (district debt payments) to maintenance and operations.
Currently, the combined tax rate for those who pay CCISD property tax is $1.22 per $100 valuation, with $1.04 of that amount going toward maintenance and operations, and the remaining 18 cents going toward the district’s debt service payments.
The TRE, if approved, would shift 13 cents of the district’s debt service funding to increase funds for the district’s maintenance and operations – in this case, about $4.1 million. The overall tax rate would remain the same, $1.22, but maintenance and operations would receive more funding.
The ballot language, however, reflects that the maintenance and operation rate would increase by 13 cents to $1.35 per $100, with the board approving a resolution or covenant that if the voters approve the TRE, the interest and sinking rate will drop to 5 cents per $100, leaving the total tax rate at $1.22.
The district has pointed to the decline in Impact Aid funding as part of the reasoning for holding the TRE. The 2018-2019 school year is the third and final year of the “hold harmless” period for CCISD, a measure which softened the blow of Impact Aid loss. In 2016-2017, CCISD received a little more than $13.1 million in Impact Aid. In 2017-2018, the district qualified for $11.2 million in Impact Aid but has only received $2.259 milion of that amount. For the 2018-2019 school year, the district anticipates a little more than $9 million in Impact Aid. Next year, that amount could be less than $500,000.
More information can be found about the TRE at https://www.ccisd.com/tre.