Westlake Hills residents will be voting November 7, 2017 on Eanes Independent School District’s proposed “Penny Swap & Drop,” promoted as a means to both maximize local dollars and add new money to the district’s operating budget. This action would result in $3 million more staying in the community—while also lowering the tax rate. The goal, according to the district, is to provide additional financial resources to help with budget constraints that are impacting both class sizes and the competitiveness of teacher salaries.
Eanes ISD has two tax rates: the debt fund (I&S) that is used to pay bonds and the operating fund (M&O) that is used to pay salaries and utilities. The potential “swap” is moving pennies from the I&S tax rate to the M&O tax rate. This would create what are called “golden pennies.” Under the Texas state school funding system, golden pennies are worth more than regular pennies and are not subject to state recapture.
Under the current system, Eanes ISD is expecting no new money from the state for the next two years. The move is possible because Eanes ISD has paid off debts. If passed, the I&S rate would drop by 3.25 cents and two pennies would move to the M&O tax rate, effectively dropping 1.25 cents back to taxpayers.
Approving this process requires voter approval. Early voting is at Randall’s West Lake Hills from October 23 to November 3, with voting day on November 7.
For more information, visit www.EanesISD.net/PennySwap