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Burnet CISD voters have choices among bond proposals on May ballot

Burnet CISD voters have choices among bond proposals

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District voters will find four distinct bond propositions on the May 1 ballot. They can vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ each one on its own merits. Early voting is April 19-27. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Voters will be able to vote yes or no on each of four different bond proposals that Burnet Consolidated Independent School District trustees have put on the May 1 ballot. Listed as A, B, C, and D, the bonds have caused some confusion among voters with some thinking they had to vote for all or none, according to BCISD officials. Early voting begins Monday, April 19, and continues through Tuesday, April 27

The Burnet bond package totals $52.5 million if all four propositions are approved by voters. Each bond issue is designed to help with expected growth in the district.

BCISD BOND PROPOSALS

  • Proposition A — $27.5 million for facility improvements and accommodations for student growth, including classroom expansion and renovation at Bertram Elementary School; improvement projects on all campuses; districtwide parking lot and drive renovations; and new buses
  • Proposition B — $11.8 million for high school and middle school athletic facilities, including Burnet Middle School field upgrades for student and community use; middle school weight room upgrades; Burnet High School combination weight room/locker rooms for boys and girls; and baseball and softball field turf
  • Proposition C — $4.3 million for instructional technology, infrastructure, and security, including electronic safety controls for all classroom doors; new security cameras at Burnet High School; network and server upgrades; and classroom instructional technology 
  • Proposition D — $8.9 million for a multipurpose student activities center

Voters will also find the sentence “This is a property tax increase” on the ballot, wording that is required by state law, officials said, even if the bond does not cause a direct increase to a district’s ad valorem tax rate.

Currently, BCISD has tax rate of $1.146 per $100 property evaluation. According to Superintendent Keith McBurnett, this is the lowest in the district’s history. The district currently has the second-lowest tax rate among Hill Country school districts.

Over the past five years, the board of trustees has approved lowering the rate by a total of 18.4 cents.

A school district’s tax rate is separated into two categories: maintenance and operation (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (INS). The M&O fund is used for daily operations such as, but not limited to, salaries, utilities, and facility maintenance. The INS portion goes to cover capital projects typically funded through bond debt.

BCISD’s overall tax rate breaks down to 95.1 cents for M&O and 19.5 cents for INS.

The board, administration, and staff have worked the past several years to manage spending and debt. Part of that, officials said, is planning for future growth. As the Austin metropolitan area grows, more people are moving to Burnet County and the Burnet area. Evidence of this is seen in Liberty Hill, located just east of Burnet down Texas 29.

Liberty Hill Independent School District is expecting to double in size by 2025 to 12,200 students. The district is putting a $497 million bond before its voters in May.

Even if the entire BCISD bond package passes May 1, McBurnett said the district is still looking at a lower tax rate again in August. 

For more information on the BCISD bond, visit the district’s bond webpage

daniel@thepicayune.com 

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