North Texas Voters To Decide About Paying For Schools And Highways

Alan Scaia
October 22, 2018 - 6:11 am
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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - In addition to the elections for governor and US Senate, voters in North Texas will decide several bond issues. Early voting started Monday.

The Dallas Independent School District is asking for a $0.13 tax increase. The change would cost the owner of a $185,000 home, the median home value in Dallas, an additional $20 a month on top of their current tax bill. 

"Our plan would be a five year plan so we don't have to go look for money every year for these iniatives," says Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

The money would pay for district-wide pre-kindergarten, more school choice and let the district implement merit-pay for teachers, placing teachers who perform well in schools where improvement is needed.

This year, Dallas was declared "property rich" for the first time, forcing the state to give more money to the state than it receives. Hinojosa says the change is the result of increasing property values in Dallas, even though 90 percent of students in the district live in poverty.

"This is a state issue that needs to be rectified, and I think there's a lot of momentum," he says.

Frisco ISD is also asking for a $691 million dollar bond. The measure there would drop the tax rate by two cents. The district would shift money from debt repayment toward construction, security and teacher pay.

Frisco is the fastest-growing school district in Texas, expecting to add up to 2,100 students per year for the next five years.

Collin County is asking for a $750 million dollar bond to pay for road projects. The measure would not change the tax rate.

According to the US Census, Collin County's population has grown 23 percent since 2010, increasing to 969,603 in 2017. Commissioners say Collin County is on pace to have a bigger population than Dallas County by 2045.

If voters approve the bond, $600 million would be used for non-tolled highway projects. Another $140 million would go toward city streets, and ten million would be spent on parks.

Voters in Arlington will decide on a measure that would limit the mayor and city council to a total of three two-year terms. That measure would be retroactive, forcing five members off the council within two years.

Opponents say that measure is too restrictive because it is retroactive and would permanently ban council members from even running again. Dallas lets council members sit out a term, then run again.