Edinburg trustees order TRE, others poised to follow

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The Edinburg CISD administration building is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy: Edinburg CISD/Facebook)

The Edinburg CISD School Board ordered Friday a tax rate election for Nov. 7, with other Rio Grande Valley districts poised to consider doing so on Monday — the deadline to decide.

Edinburg’s election will ask voters to prevent the district’s tax rate from falling by 3.17 cents as it would if the election does not pass.

Superintendent Mario Salinas told trustees voters in Edinburg approved a tax rate election 10 years ago.

“We are proposing that we have a tax rate election to keep the three pennies and keep it at 17 cents,” he said. That’s what, basically that’s what, we’re gonna ask our voters. To keep the 17 cents that were approved by the voters in 2013 so that we can continue to give competitive raises for our staff.

If the election passes, the district expects to generate an extra $6.7 million annually in local taxes and state funding.

The district would plan to use that money this school year for retention stipends and facilities infrastructure. In the long term, it could use it for security, technology and facility renovations.

Salinas said voters are still poised to receive a significant tax reduction even if the election passes.

“They’re still — the voters — are still gonna get almost 20 cents reduction on the present school taxes,” he said.

The superintendent also noted that Edinburg CISD’s current taxes compare well with other local school districts.

“The taxes in Edinburg — not including the compression that’s coming — is second lowest in the Valley,” Salinas said. “Only Weslaco has lower school taxes than Edinburg CISD.

Edinburg is not alone in opting for a tax rate election this year.

McAllen approved one Friday and according to Salinas, at least half a dozen other Valley districts are considering ordering elections.

“There may be more out there, but that’s what we have through Wednesday,” he said.

Larger districts in Hidalgo County considering ordering a tax rate election Monday include La Joya and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD.