Texas Tax Code

Sec. § 26.08
Automatic Election to Approve Tax Rate of School District


(a)

If the governing body of a school district adopts a tax rate that exceeds the district’s voter-approval tax rate, the registered voters of the district at an election held for that purpose must determine whether to approve the adopted tax rate.

(a-1)

When increased expenditure of money by a school district is necessary to respond to a disaster, including a tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other calamity, but not including a drought, that has impacted a school district and the governor has requested federal disaster assistance for the area in which the school district is located, an election is not required under this section to approve the tax rate adopted by the governing body for the year following the year in which the disaster occurs. A tax rate adopted under this subsection applies only in the year for which the rate is adopted. If a district adopts a tax rate under this subsection, the amount by which that rate exceeds the district’s voter-approval tax rate for that tax year may not be considered when calculating the district’s voter-approval tax rate for the tax year following the year in which the district adopts the rate.

(b)

The governing body shall order that the election be held in the school district on the next uniform election date prescribed by Section 41.001 (Uniform Election Dates), Election Code, that occurs after the date of the election order and that allows sufficient time to comply with the requirements of other law. At the election, the ballots shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: “Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of ___ (insert adopted tax rate) in (name of school district) for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of _____ (insert percentage increase in maintenance and operations tax revenue under the adopted tax rate as compared to maintenance and operations tax revenue in the preceding tax year) percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $____ (insert dollar amount of increase in maintenance and operations tax revenue under the adopted tax rate as compared to maintenance and operations tax revenue in the preceding tax year).”

(c)

If a majority of the votes cast in the election favor the proposition, the tax rate for the current year is the rate that was adopted by the governing body.

(d)

If the proposition is not approved as provided by Subsection (c), the governing body may not adopt a tax rate for the school district for the current year that exceeds the school district’s voter-approval tax rate.

(d-1)

If, after tax bills for the school district have been mailed, a proposition to approve the school district’s adopted tax rate is not approved by the voters of the district at an election held under this section, on subsequent adoption of a new tax rate by the governing body of the district, the assessor for the school shall prepare and mail corrected tax bills. The assessor shall include with each bill a brief explanation of the reason for and effect of the corrected bill. The date on which the taxes become delinquent for the year is extended by a number of days equal to the number of days between the date the first tax bills were sent and the date the corrected tax bills were sent.

(d-2)

If a property owner pays taxes calculated using the originally adopted tax rate of the school district and the proposition to approve the adopted tax rate is not approved by voters, the school district shall refund the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequently adopted rate if the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequent rate is $1 or more. If the difference between the amount of taxes paid and the amount due under the subsequent rate is less than $1, the school district shall refund the difference on request of the taxpayer. An application for a refund of less than $1 must be made within 90 days after the date the refund becomes due or the taxpayer forfeits the right to the refund.

(e)

For purposes of this section, local tax funds dedicated to a junior college district under Section 45.105 (Authorized Expenditures)(e), Education Code, shall be eliminated from the calculation of the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the school district. However, the funds dedicated to the junior college district are subject to Section 26.085 (Election to Limit Dedication of School Funds to Junior College).

(f)

Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 3.01(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

(g)

In a school district that received distributions from an equalization tax imposed under former Chapter 18 (Job Corps Diploma Programs), Education Code, the no-new-revenue rate of that tax as of the date of the county unit system’s abolition is added to the district’s voter-approval tax rate.

(h)

For purposes of this section, increases in taxable values and tax levies occurring within a reinvestment zone under Chapter 311 (Tax Increment Financing Act), in which the district is a participant, shall be eliminated from the calculation of the tax rate adopted by the governing body of the school district.

(i)

For purposes of this section, “enrichment tax rate” has the meaning assigned by Section 45.0032 (Components of Maintenance and Operations Tax), Education Code.

(n)

For purposes of this section, the voter-approval tax rate of a school district is the sum of the following:

(1)

the rate per $100 of taxable value that is equal to the district’s maximum compressed tax rate, as determined under Section 48.2551 (Maximum Compressed Tax Rate), Education Code, for the current year;

(2)

the greater of:

(A)

the district’s enrichment tax rate for the preceding tax year, less any amount by which the district is required to reduce the district’s enrichment tax rate under Section 48.202 (Tier Two Allotment)(f), Education Code, in the current tax year; or

(B)

the rate of $0.05 per $100 of taxable value; and

(3)

the district’s current debt rate.

(n-1)

For the 2020 tax year, a school district shall substitute “$0.04” for “$0.05” in Subsection (n)(2)(B)(ii) if the governing body of the district does not adopt by unanimous vote for that tax year a maintenance and operations tax rate at least equal to the sum of the rate described by Subsection (n)(2)(A) and the rate of $0.05 per $100 of taxable value.

(o)

Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.

(p)

Repealed by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.
Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2280, ch. 841, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., 1st C.S., p. 166, ch. 13, Sec. 120, eff. Jan. 1, 1982; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5377, ch. 987, Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 1983; Acts 1984, 68th Leg., 2nd C.S., ch. 28, art. II, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1984; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 947, Sec. 10, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 20, 26, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 347, Sec. 2.04, eff. May 31, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 728, Sec. 85, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 47, eff. May 30, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 506, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 828, Sec. 4(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 592, Sec. 2.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1.40, 3.01(c), eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1187, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Amended by:
Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5 (H.B. 1), Sec. 1.14, eff. May 31, 2006.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 777 (S.B. 1024), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1.063, eff. September 1, 2019.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1.065, eff. January 1, 2020.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 1A.008, eff. January 1, 2020.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 4.001(c)(1), eff. September 1, 2019.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 53, eff. January 1, 2020.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 2), Sec. 54, eff. January 1, 2020.
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Jun. 7, 2021