BREAKING NEWS! Conroe ISD cocks a snook at voters, will raise taxes WITHOUT voter approval, then force bond on citizens

BREAKING NEWS! Conroe ISD cocks a snook at voters, will raise taxes WITHOUT voter approval, then force bond on citizens

Image: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson often thumbs his nose at citizens or protesters he chooses to ignore. On August 13, 2019, the Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees thumbed its collectivist nose at voters who rejected the $807 million May 4, 2019, bond, by passing another bond referendum set for the November 5, 2019, General Election.

Conroe, August 14 – Just as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson often “cocks a snook” (thumbs his nose) at people he doesn’t like, the Conroe Independent School District (CISD) Board of Trustees approved a new bond referendum in the amount of $676 millions for voters to approve or disapprove on November 5, 2019. The bond package is almost the same as the $807 million bond package, which voters rejected by an almost landslide margin on May 4, as CISD intends to spend almost all of the money it did under the May 4 bond, but it is moving money and accounts around in order to trick voters.

“CISD is playing a shell game with our money,” Montgomery County Republican Party Treasurer John Hill Wertz told The Golden Hammer late last night. Campaign for Liberty’s Gulf Coast Coordinator Kelli Cook agreed with Wertz and accused the CISD Board of “gobbling up” all of the statewide property tax relief the Texas Legislature passed during the 86th Legislative Session and intended for local taxpayers to enjoy. In actuality, CISD taxpayers will face higher tax bills in the future and will not get any relief from property taxes.

Whether CISD “cocked its snook,” “gobbled,” or “played a shell game,” the end result is that the school district’s taxpayers will suffer a tax increase and a higher tax rate than CISD had projected under the $807 million bond proposal, even though the new bond package is only $683 million!

Whether CISD “cocked its snook,” “gobbled,” or “played a shell game,” the end result is that the school district’s taxpayers will suffer a tax increase and a higher tax rate than CISD had projected under the $807 million bond proposal, even though the new bond package is only $683 million!

All of the spending under the $807 million bond package will occur under the CISD’s $676 million bond package. CISD has moved some money around, however:

  • FIRST, and foremost, rather than allowing voters to vote for or against a 3 cent Debt Service tax rate increase as in the May 4 bond election, the CISD is preemptively passing a 4.5 cent Debt Service tax rate increase without voter approval during its Budget Hearing which will occur on August 20.
  • SECOND, all of the spending under the $807 million bond package will occur under the $676 million bond package except that CISD will not renovate the Hauke campus, won’t build a Teacher Training Facility, and won’t decommission the Jett Center where teacher training presently occurs.
  • THIRD, rather than paying down Debt Service to give taxpayers a break, CISD will use the available funds for capital maintenance projects which were in the $807 million bond proposal. In other words, CISD will spend the same money as in the $807 million bond package.
  • FOURTH, CISD will actually spend more than in the $807 million bond package, because CISD is adding an additional elementary school for approximately $37 million to the spending package.
  • FIFTH, CISD still wants to waste $23 million of taxpayers hard-earned money on Astro-Turf for elite athletic fields, but CISD will put that $23 million on a separate bond proposition.

With very little discussion other than the PowerPoint presentation by Superintendent Curtis Null and assistant superintendent Chris Hines, the Board voted unanimously 6 to 0 to approve the bond and order an election on November 5, 2019. Trustee Dale Inman failed to attend the meeting and did not vote.

The bottom line is that CISD is increasing taxes to be substantially higher than the school district had proposed under the May 4 bond package and will wipe out all benefits from the Texas Legislature’s statewide property tax reform, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into law on June 12.

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