Previewing the Katy ISD tax ratification election

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 10/20/22

Katy ISD voters will decide whether to ratify a $1.3517 per $100 property evaluation tax rate in the Nov. 8 election.

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Previewing the Katy ISD tax ratification election


Katy ISD voters will decide whether to ratify a $1.3517 per $100 property evaluation tax rate in the Nov. 8 election.

The district’s overall tax rate will drop from $1.3517 to $1.3048 per $100 property evaluation if the TRE is voted down. The compression comes due to state law, which requires the district’s maintenance and operations, or M&O, rate drop when property values increase.

The district’s M&O rate reflects the $0.0469, or 3.5%, decrease in the $1.2 billion budget trustees adopted in August.

But district officials remain concerned about keeping and hiring new staff in light of a nationwide teacher shortage and a growing student population. The need for additional staff becomes clear as the district student enrollment continues to grow. The district presently has an enrollment of about 92,500 students and officials have said that figure is expected to be about 100,000 by 2030.

If Katy ISD voters approve the TRE, those $0.0469 pennies will be added, so the total M&O rate will stay the same this year as last year. District officials said the money would go towards teacher and staff salaries, which are part of the M&O portion of the budget. The additional money will also go for hiring additional Katy ISD officers.

Trustees voted in August to put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide.

Using the newly adopted $1.3048 rate, without the TRE, a property valued at $363,366, with a taxable value of $324,213, would have a tax bill of $4,230. But if voters approve the tax rate, the rate remains at $1.3517. The tax bill would be $4,382, a $152 increase.

The district has a website providing more information. The abbreviated URL for that website is

Former trustee George Scott, an advocate of the plan, urged district families to get involved in the selection.

“Those of us who value Katy ISD for what it has done for our families and children must not remain on the sidelines, even should all hell erupt,” Scott said. “Katy ISD is bigger than all of us individually combined. I pray that we can set aside differences, rise to the occasion, and keep highest Katy ISD the elite school district it has become.”

The plan has its critics, including state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, whose district includes part of Katy ISD. Bettencourt said in September that a ratified school tax rate would wipe out state-mandated property tax relief.

Katy is not the only school district to schedule such elections. Numerous Southeast Texas school districts, including Alvin, Fort Bend, and Friendswood, have called for such elections.

Lamar Consolidated ISD voters in November will be voting on a bond issue. Meanwhile, Royal ISD is preparing a bond issue for the May 2023 election.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the property rate will drop from $1.3517 to $1.3048 should voters reject the TRE. The Times regrets the error. The story has also been updated to reflect that should voters approve the TRE, the district expects some of the money to go towards hiring more Katy ISD police officers.