Voters approved a 4 cent per $100 property valuation tax increase in Georgetown ISD's tax ratification election Oct. 9.
According to district officials, 2,067 GISD residents, or 59.29 percent of those who cast ballots, voted in favor of the increase, with 1,419, or 40.71 percent, voting against.
The election was called in July after a citizens committee unanimously voted to recommend the increase. The committee was formed to brainstorm ideas to cover a nearly $600,000 deficit in the district’s 2012–13 budget.
“It is becoming more of a challenge with the resources we have to continue to provide the same level of services to our students,” GISD Superintendent Joe Dan Lee told the committee at its July 23 meeting.
The district has cut more than $7 million from its budget in the past two years because of state and federal government funding cuts, Lee said. With the approval, maintenance and operations taxes will increase from $1.04 to $1.08 per $100 property valuation, which will bring in approximately $2.2 million.
"We are very pleased that the Georgetown citizens have once again supported our students and our schools," Lee said in a news release issued after the unofficial final results were posted. “Our taxpayers have realized that, due to a significant reduction in funding, we have made major reductions to the district’s budget. The ratification will help us maintain the level and quality of the programs we offer all our students."
The extra monies could cover transportation and technology costs or teacher raises, which the district has not given in three years. It will also prevent the need for further budget reductions, which could have included shutting down a district elementary school, Lee said. The school board will canvass the election results at its meeting Oct. 15.