What is a Penny Swap Tax Ratification Election? How does it appear on the ballot?
First, the ballot language is set by state law, cannot be changed and can be confusing. Second, Proposition A (TRE) only addresses the M&O Tax Rate. The ballot will ask voters to approve a total tax rate of $1.352 per $100 property valuation. It will also say that this
rate is $.02 higher than the school district rollback tax rate ($1.04), which is true on the M & O side. The proposition does not explain that the Debt Service Tax Rate was reduced by the same amount by Board Resolution so that the total tax rate of $1.352 remains the same as the prior
year with the passage of Proposition A. The actual ballot language follows and will asks voters to vote For or Against:
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $1.3520 per $100 valuation in Fort Worth Independent School District for the current year, the rate that is $0.02 higher per $100 valuation than the school district rollback tax rate, for the purpose of maintenance and operations.
Through a voter-approved penny exchange, Fort Worth ISD would take 2 pennies from the Debt Service Tax Rate (also known as the Interest and Sinking (I&S) Tax Rate) and move them to the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Tax Rate.
This move, called a “Penny Swap”, would allow the District to keep the total tax rate at $1.352. The “Penny Swap” will not cause an increase in the tax rate paid by taxpayers. This approval will provide the Fort Worth ISD with an additional $23 million annually.