At a special called meeting of the Melissa ISD school board on Tuesday night, funding measures were discussed and actions taken that would benefit students and the school system for years to come.

The MISD school board held a budget workshop on Tuesday to work over a proposed budget. After research and discussion, the board approved and adopted the budget and a tax rate schedule date. That move went hand-in-hand with the board’s next move as it adopted an ordinance for a tax ratification election.

As with all tax elections the numbers can get complicated, but the gist of it is this: the upcoming tax ratification election, set for Oct. 1, will give voters the chance to say yea or nay to a move that MISD officials feel will roll dollars into the school budget without burdening the taxpayer.

According to Dr. Robert Rich, director of administrative services, a number of years ago the Texas Legislature changed the amount school districts could tax. Districts had been able to tax $1.50 per $100 of property and home value for maintenance and operations (M&O) but the legislature reduced that amount to $1. However, on the M&O side of the ledger districts have been allowed to tax up to $1.17 if approved by voters.

What the MISD wants to do is lower the interest and sinking (I&S) tax rate by 13 cents and raise M&O by 13 cents which would bring in an additional $1 million in funding without increasing the total tax rate on taxpayers.

"The impact on taxpayers would be nothing," said Rich.

Though we’ve boiled it down for this space, this has been years in discussion and planning. According to MISD Superintendent Dr. Jason Smith, the board has been looking at this issue for the past two years, even bringing in a consultant to explain how to bring in more tax dollars for the district without further burdening those taxpayers in Melissa.

Ultimately, the decision will rest with those taxpayers on Oct. 1.