Voters cast their ballots Saturday at the Coryell County Justice of the Peace office, 210 S. 1st St., in a tax ratification election for the Copperas Cove Independent School District.

COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District will have more taxpayer dollars going toward operations after voters approved a measure to move those dollars on Saturday.

There were 746 votes for and 293 votes against a proposed movement of existing tax dollars from the district’s interest and sinking fund, which pays for bonded district debts, to the operations side of the budget, according to unofficial election results from Justin K. Carothers, Coryell County Tax Assessor/Collector.

A total of 1,054 voted. There were 665 votes tallied between Aug. 22 and Sept. 4 in early voting for the election.

Voter turnout was 4.49 percent.

Joe Burns, CCISD superintendent praised the support of district voters Saturday night.

"Copperas Cove ISD is extremely grateful for the community support for the Tax Ratification Election.  I have always said that Copperas Cove is a great community of individuals who are focused on what is best for the students and staff of CCISD," Burns said in a written statement. "On behalf of the students, staff and board of trustees, I want to say thank you to everyone for their continued support of our students and our programs." 

The tax swap does not increase the existing property tax rate of $1.22 per $100 of taxable value for Cove residents. Because it passed, the movement of the funds could generate an estimated savings of $4.1 million for the school district, according to CCISD.

Those savings will help offset a steep decrease in federal Impact Aid. Impact Aid assists school districts that have lost property tax revenue from the presence of tax-exempt federal property, such as Fort Hood, and may also be given for increased expenditures from the enrollment of federally connected children.

Impact Aid has tapered since the 2011-2012 school year, when the percentage of military-connected students was at its peak.

CCISD Board of Trustees President Joan Manning also expressed gratitude Saturday evening.

"The passage of the TRE will help our district in all aspects of our operations without causing a change to our total tax rate," Manning said in a written statement. "Even though we are losing Federal Impact Aid, this positive action will help our district to the tune of $4.1 million. Our students, teachers, and staff will benefit greatly from this decision."

Burns said cost-saving measures, which have already taken place over the past five years, would dramatically increase if the district’s election had failed. He warned of larger class sizes, a reduction in extracurricular programming and stricter travel stipulations for sports teams.

mpayne@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

Herald staff writer

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