Hidalgo County school districts pass tax-rate ratifications, bonds

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A sign displays where you can early vote at the Fireman’s Pumphouse on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Hidalgo County voters this year considered two bonds and eight tax-ratification elections and all but three failed to pass.

According to unofficial results from the Hidalgo County Elections Department, McAllen ISD’s proposed tax rate of $0.8448 passed with 3,088 votes for and 2,297 votes against.

McAllen ISD School Board president Debbie Crane Ailseda said the district is excited the community voted in favor of keeping four additional pennies in tax revenue. She added the additional tax revenue will enhance staff salaries and will be invested in school infrastructure.

“As we move forward, I assure you that we will be transparent and accountable in the use of these additional funds,” Ailseda said. “We will continue to prioritize the well-being and education of our students, striving for excellence in every aspect of our school district.”

Edinburg CISD’s proposed maintenance and operation tax rate of $0.7892 also passed with 4,459 votes for and 3,596 against.

Mario Salinas, superintendent for the Edinburg school district, said he felt that the nearly 1,000 vote margin is reflective of the community’s confidence in the work that the district is doing.

“As a school district … those three pennies that were approved, are going to generate $3.2 million in local taxes and then the matching state fund of $3.4 million,” Salinas said. “So we intend to use those funds … mostly for compensation for our employees. To be able to offer competitive salaries to our employees. We feel strongly that an investment in our staff is an investment in our students.”

Weslaco ISD had three bonds for residents to vote on. All of them revolved around the district’s buildings, but Propositions B and C essentially came down to Election Day voting.

Proposition A asked for $140 million for construction, acquisition and equipment for district buildings and new school buses. The proposition passed with the largest margin of the three, with 3,363 votes for, or 58.06%, and 2,429 votes against.

Proposition B asked for $10 million for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, renovation and equipping of performing arts facilities in the district. The proposition passed with 3,044 votes for and 2,642 votes against.

Identical to the previous proposition’s goal and use of money, Proposition C deals with athletics facilities in the district. The proposition passed with a slim margin of 25 votes. Proposition C garnered 2,846 votes for, or 50.22%, and 2,821 votes against.

Edcouch-Elsa ISD residents also voted on a bond proposition which asked for $40 million for the construction, acquisition and equipment for school buildings and new school buses.

Early voting numbers showed the proposition gaining support, but Election Day voting changed the outcome with the proposition failing to pass with 417 votes cast against and 371 votes for.

Mission CISD residents voted on a tax rate of $1.1113 for the current year. The proposed tax rate is comprised of maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.7892 and a debt service tax rate of $0.3238.

The district’s proposition passed with a small margin with 1,016 votes for and 968 votes against.

In PSJA ISD, a proposed tax rate of $0.7892 passed with 2,072 votes for and 1,869 against.

The adoption of a $0.7892 tax rate in La Joya ISD was split nearly down the middle with early voting numbers but Election Day votes pushed the proposition to fail with 1,488 votes against and 1,336 votes for. .

Hidalgo ISD passed its $0.8179 tax rate with 119 votes for the proposition and 75 against.

Monte Alto ISD passed its proposition of a $0.7892 tax rate with 111 of votes for and 76 against.

Another failed proposition is Progreso ISD’s proposed tax rate of $0.7892. The tax rate failed to pass with 154 votes against, or 58.78 %, and 108 votes for it.