CFB Tax Ratification Election

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CFB Tax Ratification Election

Emma Hoffman, Staff Writer

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Election day is November 8, but early voting began on October 24. On top of voting in the presidential election, Carrollton – Farmers Branch citizens will be able to vote in the Tax Ratification Election.

The Tax Ratification Election (TRE) is for a Maintenance and Operations tax rate increase of 11 cents, increasing it from $1.04 to $1.17 per $100 in property value (there is already an unrelated 2 cent increase). According to CFB Elections’ website, it is estimated that this tax rate increase would add about $220 a year to a property valued at $200,000.

TRE is an option school districts in Texas have to vote for a tax increase, with the extra funding go to public education. Various school districts have held this election since the education funding was cut by $5 billion in 2011, and this year, CFBISD trustees decided to give this option to our voters. Head of District Communications Angela Shelley the main goal for this election is to give teachers higher salaries, and students more opportunities.

Voter approval of this tax ratification election will generate approximately $17 million which will be used for compensation for our teachers, reducing class sizes, technology upgrades and other program expansions and enhancements,” Brown said. “The purpose of this tax increase is not only to maintain the financial stability of the district, but also to improve student learning and achievement for each student.”

Brown also said that there are few other options for a budget increase. The other options are increase funding through legislative action, which they cannot control, or getting more students, which is difficult and has other costs.

Despite what the district might want, it is up to the citizens to decide if they think the budget increase is worth raising taxes.

One group, CFB Citizens United, opposes this tax increase. According to their website, they want to stop the tax increase to keep the district affordable, and don’t believe a tax increase will help the schools. Around the Carrollton – Farmers Branch area, you can see their signs on street corners, including at the intersection of Old Denton and Peters Colony in front of Creekview, which are red and read “Vote No.”

Of course, there are also citizens in favor of this act including President of the CFB PTSA Parent Teacher Student Association, Catherine Carlin.Carlin said she believes this act not being passed could result in various programs such as academies, fine arts and athletics being cut.

“I want our community to grow and flourish and that’s not possible with a sub-par school district,” Carlin said. “I want our students to have the best opportunity to learn: in uncrowded classrooms with excellent teachers and the newest technology.”

Carlin also said she believes that this is the only option for the school district. For years the district has been using the General Fund, and this election is a last ditch effort.

Ultimately, it’s up to the citizens to determine what they think is best, and that might include you. For this election go out and vote if you can for what you think is best for the district. For information on where to vote, you can go to  http://cfbelections.com/voting-locations/

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