VATRE 2023

About School Taxes in Texas

    • Public schools in Texas are funded by three main sources:

        1. Local School District Property Taxes

        2. State Funds

        3. Federal Funds

      School budgets and tax rates are made up of two parts: Maintenance and Operation (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). The money generated from each part can only be used for specific types of expenses.BUDGET



  • Maintenance and Operations budget (M&O), pays for teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food and utilities. Approximately 80% of the district’s M&O budget goes to teacher and staff salaries. 

    State law requires that school districts seek voter approval to raise their M&O tax rate above a rate set by state law. If the board adopts a tax rate that is greater than the calculated rate set by law, that triggers an election called a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE), which by law can only be held in November. If the voters do not approve the measure, then the M&O tax rate reverts to the maximum rate allowed under state law.



  • The Interest & Sinking fund can only be used 1) to pay off bonds sold for construction and facility improvements and 2) to buy furniture, technology, transportation, equipment and/or to purchase land. I&S funds cannot be used for salaries and benefits, or to construct facilities. A school district can only take on new debt through a voter-approved bond election.

    Cedar Hill ISD Board of Trustees plan to call for a May 2024 bond election to address the I&S tax rate and facility needs. To learn more about CHISD Tax Rate and other school finance information, visit our special Finance 101 Page found here.