Forney ISD releases Tax Rate information
For the 5th year in a row, Forney ISD has adopted a lower tax rate. The 2023-2024 tax rate adopted by the board is 6.5 cents lower than the previous year, and has lowered a total of 25 cents over the last 5 years.
The Forney ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to place a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election, VATRE, or School Funding Referendum on the November 7th ballot in order to allow our voters to weigh in on this important decision.
What does that mean for homeowners?
- Homeowners under 65 who have filed their homestead exemption will pay less in property taxes. The average homestead will pay around $450 less in property taxes this year.
- Homeowners 65 years of age and older will see no increase in their tax levy because of the senior citizen homestead exemption, and may even see a decrease.
The budget priorities Forney ISD will fund if the School Funding Referendum is approved by voters this fall include:
- Increase teacher and staff salaries to help recruit and retain educators during a national teacher shortage, including a $3,600 stipend this year with the ability to offer competitive raises in the future.
- Add armed police officers at every campus to ensure student and teacher safety during a police shortage.
- Fund staff positions to offset increased student enrollment, as we are growing over 1,500 new students every year.
- Sustain funding for academic programs, athletics, fine arts and extracurricular offerings.
- Increase the number of career pathways and job training programs.
- Continue college preparation programs including our partnerships with Texas Tech University and Dallas College.
- And help to provide educational and enrichment opportunities for our entire Forney Family.
Thanks to the passing of the last two bond referendums by voters in 2019 and 2022 we have - or will have in the next few years - the facilities in place to meet the needs of our growing Forney Family. But bond money, per state law, is not allowed to be used for expenses like teacher salaries, armed police officers and expanded academic programs. Those expenses come out of a separate operating budget. In order to add funds to it requires voter approval through a VATRE or School Funding Referendum.
While our State Representative is working hard for our students and teachers down in Austin, the State Legislature as a whole has not changed the per pupil allotment which funds school operations since 2019. With school funding remaining stagnant, the dollars per student Forney ISD receives does not cover rising inflation, insurance costs or the need for competitive teacher salaries, increased safety and security measures and educational programming.
The District’s adopted tax rate of $1.28 which is 6.5 cents lower than last year and 25 cents lower than five years ago due to a series of tax cuts approved by our District leaders.
Over the coming weeks Forney ISD will be providing you with additional information so you can make an informed vote on the future of our district.
Early voting for the School Funding Referendum is Monday, October 23rd through Friday, November 3rd. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th.
Visit www.fisdfundingfacts.com to learn more so you may make an informed decision at the polls.
Please contact us at 469-762-4100 if you have any questions.