HALLSVILLE — The majority of Hallsville ISD voters on Tuesday cast their ballots in favor of the district’s proposed $55 million bond that would allocate money towards a new elementary school, updates to the junior high campus and a new auditorium at the high school, according to unofficial voting numbers released from the Harrison County Elections Office.
Unofficial voting numbers released on Tuesday showed 1,386 voters, or about 54 percent, voted in favor of the bond, while 1,174 voters, or about 46 percent voted against the bond.
“After a tremendous amount of hard work, planning and communication effort, we are very excited about the bond proposal passing and the future of Hallsville ISD,” Hallsville ISD Superintendent Jeff Collum said Tuesday. “During this process we have learned a lot from our community and listened very attentively and respectfully. We sincerely appreciate their voices, opinions and feedback during this process. We look forward to getting this work underway as we prepare for the future of our district.”
Collum also thank the district’s trustees for opting for a bond election.
”I want to thank our school board for their support, integrity, hard work and transparency during this process,” he said. “This is a good day for Hallsville ISD and a great day for our students. We will never stop pursuing excellence for our students and we will always remain faithful to doing the right thing for this district and these kids. I also want to thank the entire Hallsville community for remaining passionate, engaged and supportive of this amazing school district. We are all truly blessed to have such a wonderful place to live and educate our children.”
Hallsville ISD voters also voted in favor of Proposition B that allows for $3 million on the district’s 2014 bond to refund and replace maintenance tax debt with interest and sinking tax debt. The measure passed with 1,457 voters in favor of the move, or about 57 percent and 1,080 voters opposed, or about 43 percent.
Harrison county voters also voted against the constitutional amendment proposition 1 that would allow a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at a time. The unofficial vote count came in at 65 percent against and about 35 percent in favor of the motion.
Proposition 2 allowing up to $200 million for projects in distressed areas by the Texas Water Development Board was voted in favor of by about 59 percent of Harrison county voters, while about 41 percent voted against the measure.
Proposition 3 requiring political subdivisions to provide temporary property tax exemptions in areas that the governor declared as disaster areas was voted favorably by about 83 percent of voters, with about 17 percent of voters not in favor of the move.
Proposition 4 which would prohibit the state from levying an income tax on individuals to the state constitution was voted favorably by about 87 percent of voters and voted against by about 13 percent of voters.
Proposition 5 which would dedicate revenue from the sales tax on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission was voted favorably by about 87 percent of voters and was voted against by about 13 percent of voters.
Proposition 6 which allows the legislature to increase the maximum amount of bonds for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas from $3 billion to $6 billion was voted favorably by about 64 percent of voters while about 36 percent voted against the measure.
Proposition 7 which allows the General Land Office and State Board of Education to each transfer $600 million from the Permanent School Fund’s lands and properties proceeds to the Available School Fund each year was voted favorably by about 70 percent of voters, with about 30 percent voting against the move.
Hallsville ISD is currently in a unique financial position that voters and tax payers will not only not see a tax increase due to approving the bond election, but will instead see a tax decrease.
Thanks to an influx of state funding to school districts as part of the recently passed Texas House Bill 3, Hallsville ISD tax payers will see a $0.07 decrease per $100 home valuation in their tax rate, whether the bond passes on Nov. 5 or not.
The district will see its maintenance and operations tax rate reduced from $1.04 to $0.97. The district’s interest and sinking (debt) tax rate will remain steady at $0.33, making a total $1.30 tax rate, down from $1.37 last year, per $100 of home value
The district’s trustees voted unanimously in August to call the two bond elections, citing a need for a new elementary school due to rapid growth at the district.
“Over the past 10 years, Hallsville ISD has seen a significant increase in student enrollment in the district,” Collum said. “Each year, the district has grown by an average of 100 students, with more expected as the surrounding area continues to grow. The new west elementary school would be built to accommodate 750 students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grades.”
The total bond amount would not exceed $55 million, and includes about $29.7 million for a new “West” elementary school campus on land the district already owns near Page Road and Loop 281 in the Longview city limits but Hallsville ISD district.
The bond also includes about $13.8 million for a new 1,000 seat high school auditorium that was originally included on the plans of the district’s 2007 bond that constructed the new Hallsville High School but was later scrapped due to a lack of money remaining. The district’s campuses currently use the auditorium at Hallsville Junior High School.