District voters approve Fort Worth ISD bond proposals, seven state propositions

By Katie Carter

Voters approved the two-pronged FWISD bond proposal Tuesday that will give the district millions of additional dollars each year.

The largest bond in district’s history is part of an initiative of increase the number graduating students who are college or career-ready. The bond was divided into two propositions: Proposition A: the “Penny Swap” authorization and Proposition B: a $750 million bond.

The Penny Swap tax rate authorization will move two cents, or $6 million from the principal and interest portion of the tax rate to the district’s maintenance and operation fund. District funding from the state will increase by $17 million because the district is maximizing funding without increasing the tax rate.

The $23 million will be used for maintenance projects left out of the 2013 bond. These projects include replacing pipes, wires, lights and security cameras.

The $750 million bond program will pay for upgrades within FWISD’s high schools, begin to tackle student growth within the district and invest in specialized programs.

The money will be allocated toward upgrades such as science departments, libraries, athletics, extra curricular activities and other areas.

A board will meet to evaluate which schools are in need of which upgrades.

Proposition A passed with 73 percent of voter support and Proposition B passed with 78 percent.

Texas propositions pass

In addition to the bond proposals by the district, Texas voters also passed all of the seven statewide ballot measures that were up for election, according to the Tarrant County Board of Elections.

Proposition 1 provides partially disabled veterans and their spouses with a property tax exemption. This exemption will be equal to the percentage of their disability as long as the home was donated for less than market value by a charity.

Proposition 2 approves changes that will be made to the home equity borrowing system in Texas. There are four changes that will be put into effect. First, the cap on home equity loan-related fees will be lowered from three percent to two percent. Second, home equity loans will be allowed against agricultural property. Third, the refinancing of a home equity loan will be allowed with a purchase money loan. Finally, If the principal amount on the home equity line of credit is below 80 percent of the fair market value, an advance will be allowed.

Proposition 3 makes it so that unsalaried officials cannot be in office beyond the end of the legislative session following the expiration of their term.

Proposition 4 allows the passing of laws requiring courts to inform the state attorney general of a legal challenge to the constitutionality of a state law.

Proposition 5 expands the definition of professional sports team for the purpose of decided which charitable foundations are allowed to hold raffles.

Proposition 6 allows for a property tax exemption to spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Proposition 7  will allow financial institutions to promote savings by offering customers prizes.

For more information on the seven propositions that were passed visit www.votetexas.gov.