Despite Odessa voters rejecting a school bond and tax increase election last November by overwhelming numbers, the Ector County School Board may give it another try.

At a special meeting held Monday, school trustees proposed a tax rate of $1.22975 per $100 valuation for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which would trigger yet another tax ratification election this fall. The proposed rate is an 8-cent increase from the current rate of $1.15 per $100 valuation and is estimated to generate an additional $11 million in tax revenue for the district.

The board’s decision was made before receiving the certified appraisal roll and before adopting a budget, according to the meeting agenda.

Just last November, Ector County Independent School District placed a $291 million bond and a 13-cent tax increase on the ballot, which were rejected by 62 and 60 percent of voters, respectively.

According to a recent report by the Odessa American, several school officials have expressed concerns that the school board may be heading down the same path of electoral failure, given the lack of community engagement and preparation in relation to the new proposal.

If trustees vote to adopt the new rate at their next meeting, a tax ratification election will be required and voters will have the final say in whether their taxes increase or stay the same.

Lauren Melear

Lauren Melear leads the West Texas Bureau of Texas Scorecard. When not working, Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog, as well as cooking, working out, traveling to the hill country, and cheering on the fightin' Texas Aggies.


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