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PNGISD to hold tax ratification election

Voters in Port Neches-Groves Independent School District are set to consider a tax ratification election that offers no change in homeowners’ tax rate but will help fund necessary expenses.

The basics

A school district’s tax rate is made up on two components, the maintenance and operations, or M&O, tax rate and the interest and sinking, or I&S, tax rate. The I&S is a tax levied by the district to pay for any bond debt that may have been issued to fund the construction of schools and facilities, according to the Texas state comptroller’s website.

Assistant Superintendent Julie Gauthier spoke on the topic for informational purposes as a way to provide the taxpayer with information regarding the tax ratification election.

She said the district is asking permission from the taxpayers to move 13 pennies from I&S to M&O to help offset the costs for health insurance, purchase buses and more. The move will give the district $3 million to take care of this and more.

According to information from the district, the funds will be used for, but not limited to, employee salaries and benefits, upgrading the transportation fleet, maintaining facilities and providing a safe learning environment for students.

The tax rate will remain the same whether this is approved by voters or not — $1.44 per $100 valuation. This is the same tax rate the district has had since 2014. Moving the pennies will increase the M &O by $3.3 million.

“There will be absolutely no change in the tax rate, everybody stays the same,” Gauthier said.

Should voters decline to approve the issue then future purchases such as new buses will be postponed.

Early voting will be from Oct. 22 through Nov. 2 and Election Day is Nov. 6.