The District’s role in a bond proposal is to provide factual information. Facts + Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are created to present information about what’s proposed and answer questions that come up along the way.
Facts + FAQs will be sent via email to MISD families each Friday, September - October. The files will also be posted here for reference.
What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.
How can bond funds be used?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance.
What is a bond election?
School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors to raise the capital dollars required for projects, such as renovation to existing buildings or building a new school. Essentially, the voters are giving permission for the district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.
How was the bond package developed?
The bond package was developed by the Momentum Facilities Study Committee, which consisted of parents, community members, and business and civic leaders. The committee presented its recommendation to the Midway ISD Board of Trustees on May 21 after studying growth trends, facility assessments, financial data and results of a community-wide survey. The Board voted unanimously to call for a bond election to accommodate student growth and address other needs throughout the district.
How will schools change if the bond is approved?
Woodgate Intermediate would become a PreK-5th grade elementary school and River Valley Intermediate would become a 6th-8th grade middle school. All elementary schools would serve students up to 5th grade and the district would operate two middle schools, which would serve grades 6-8.
When would the school conversions take place and attendance boundaries change?
Construction for the new elementary school and the intermediate schools’ conversions is estimated to last through the 2021-2022 school year. The earliest operation of the new alignment would be 2022-2023, pending no extensions of the construction process. If the bond is approved by voters, district personnel would begin the process of analyzing housing projections and residential population of neighborhoods to create a plan for specific attendance zones and the transition process from the current campuses to new home campuses.
Exactly how much is the proposed bond package?
The Board of Trustees called a bond election in the amount of $148 million to be brought before voters on November 5, 2019.
How will the proposed bond election affect my taxes?
By Board vote on August 14, 2019, the Midway ISD tax rate would decrease one cent on the I&S rate, if the bond is approved by voters. The M&O tax rate is decreasing seven cents (per $100 of property value) because of recent changes in state law. The district’s tax rate was at $1.32 (per $100) from 2008-2019, and it dropped to $1.25 for the 2019-2020 school year. It could drop to $1.24 in 2020.
How can the district afford to decrease the tax rate if the bond referendum is approved by voters?
When the Board of Trustees called the bond election in August, Board members discussed decreasing the I&S rate from $0.28 to $0.27 if the bond is approved by voters. The Board would be able to drop the I&S rate because of growth in student enrollment and taxable assessed values. Increasing property values due to housing growth and industrial business development have increased the amount of revenue the district collects. These increased revenues will allow new debt to be issued and lower the I&S tax rate.
The decrease from the bond would take effect in August 2020. In August 2019, the M&O portion of the tax rate decreased seven cents from $1.04 to $0.97 as a result of House Bill 3 (HB3) that was passed by the state legislature.
What if I am over 65 years old? What is the tax rate I pay?
Residents 65 and over are eligible for an “over 65” exemption. If you have applied for and received the age 65 and older exemption on your homestead, by law, your school taxes cannot be raised above their frozen level. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by the tax amount at the time your taxes were frozen. The taxes cannot go up as a result of this election.
What if I am over 65 years old and receive the “Senior Citizen Exemption” and my home value goes up, will my taxes increase?
The appraised value can change, and the tax rate will change, but the amount of school taxes on your homestead cannot increase. Normal repairs, maintenance and the economic impact of the market cannot increase the amount of taxes you will pay once a tax ceiling is in place on that homestead. Therefore, if this bond election is successful, it will not have an impact on the tax bill for homesteads that are receiving the senior citizen exemption, unless you make significant improvements to your home.
Who is eligible to vote in this election?
Any registered voter that resides within the Midway ISD boundaries.
Can I still register to vote in the election?
The deadline for voter registration is October 7, 2019. If you are not registered to vote by this deadline, then you are not eligible to vote in this election. The Texas Voter Registration Application can be found online here, or applications can be picked up at any Post Office, library or Department of Public Safety location. All schools in Midway ISD also have copies of the Voter Registration Application.
After I have registered, when will I receive my Voter Registration Certificate?
You should receive a Voter Registration Certificate within 30 days of registering. On Election Day, please bring your certificate to your local polling place if you have it. However, all that is required to vote is a valid driver’s license.