You’ve probably seen the signs throughout McKinney. Maybe you went to a MISD TRE presentation or an anti-TRE rally. Or maybe you’ve engaged in a debate, whether in person, on TownSquareBuzz.com or on Facebook. Following nearly three months of public debate throughout McKinney, TRE Day is finally here.
In the 12 hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, McKinney’s citizens will go to the polls, cast their votes, and decide whether they are willing to pay higher taxes to fund the McKinney Independent School District.
In advance of TRE Day, here’s a brief primer on the TRE:
It all began in June, when the MISD school board voted to raise McKinney residents’ property taxes by 13 cents per $100 of assessed home value. The increase, from $1.54 to $1.67 per $100 of assessed home value, would bring McKinney’s property taxes to the highest allowable level by law in the state of Texas. The 13-cent increase would mean an annual tax increase of $268.59 for a home valued at $221,611, which is the average home value in McKinney.
The increase must be approved by McKinney’s citizens in a tax ratification election or “TRE,” which is being held on Saturday.
Early voting in the TRE election ended on Tuesday and the turnout was massive.
MISD and its board said the increase is necessary to fund a budget shortfall of nearly $11 million. The shortfall was created by a decrease in state education funding generated in the 2011 Texas Legislative Session. MISD dipped into its contingency fund in the last two years to continue to fund operations.
MISD says that the fund balance is now depleted to the point that the tax increase is the only way to continue to operate at its existing educational standard. If the TRE does not pass, MISD says it may be forced to cut almost 300 positions and eliminate many of its current programs in an effort to cut spending.
Opponents of the tax increase claim that MISD’s operations are bloated with overstaffing and overspending. TRE opponents have also that MISD is mismanaging its current funding and could easily cut spending to a level that would not require McKinney’s residents to pay any extra in taxes.
Over the last few months, TSB has provided both sides an opportunity to share their opinions. Before you go to the polls tomorrow, take a moment to review a collection of viewpoints below from both sides: those in support of the TRE and those against it.
The voting locations are:
McKinney Boyd High School – 600 N. Lake Forest Drive
Collin College – Central Park Campus – 2200 W. University Drive
Eddins Elementary School – 311 Peregrine Drive
McKinney City Hall – 222 N. Tennessee Street
Reuben Johnson Elementary School – 3400 Ash Lane
Slaughter Elementary School – 2706 Wolford Avenue
Click here to determine your polling location.
Editor’s Note: Check back with TSB on Saturday for TRE election results as soon as the results are made available.