COPPERAS COVE — The Coryell County Tax office moved voting machines into the Copperas Cove Independent School District Service and Training Center on Tuesday to prepare for early voting in a special tax election that begins today.
The election is for voters to approve a shift of existing tax dollars that could save CCISD $4.1 million, according to district officials.
This proposed change would not increase the current tax rate of $1.22 , but would move district funds from Interest & Sinking budget to pay for operational needs of the district, according to prepared statements sent by Director of Communications Wendy Sledd in a news release Monday.
Any tax increases would still require a separate vote and approval by Copperas Cove ISD voters.
The movement of the existing tax dollars, called “penny shifting” in district statements, and the resulting savings could help offset sharp decreases anticipated in federal Impact Aid over the next year.
Impact Aid is funding that the district receives based on a percentage of the student population that is federally-connected, such as with the military.
In the 2018-19 school year, the district is expected to receive a projected $7.5 million dollars.
That figure will decrease to a projected $385,508.53 in the 2019-20 school year.
To compensate for the loss of funds, the district will have to enact certain cost saving measures including limiting employee raises and new hires, along with evaluation/reduction of all programs, according to district documents.
According to a Monday press release by the district, if the tax ratification election fails to pass, CCISD will need to make difficult decisions about its programs and services, including potential decreases in funding across all departments, as well as reductions in staff and student programs.
Doreen Vasseur, a former CCISD special education aid of 12 years, said that voters need to realize the importance of the election as not passing the tax ratification could cost the district parent liaison positions and other vital programs.
“If they know how important it is, and how it’ll affect our children, then they’ll go out and vote,” she said.
Early voting will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22-24 and 28-31; from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 27 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 4 at this location.
The official election will be Sept. 8 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Coryell County Justice Center, 201 First St., Copperas Cove.
Voting is open to all residents zoned within the Copperas Cove School District and is not limited to those living within the city limits, district officials said.
Visit www.ccisd.com/tre for more information.