Here are a number of questions we have received about the proposed 2024 bond election. If you have a question you would like included please reach out to us at ask@lisd.org

FAQ
What is a bond?

A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities. 

How can bonds fund be used?

Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, athletic structures, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance. 

Is there any other way to pay for these kinds of projects?

Planning for the district’s current and future needs is one of the fundamental duties of school boards and district administrators. As such, there is a constant evaluation of facilities and other needs in light of the age of district-owned structures, changes in technology, and even changes in instruction. When the district determines that it has needs beyond the capacity of the maintenance and operations budget, the Board of Trustees may issue a bond. The maintenance and operations budget covers the day-to-day expenses of the district, where over 80 percent is directed toward staff salaries and benefits.

The Texas Education Agency in the Financial Integrity Ratings System of Texas (Schools FIRST Rating) sets the guidelines for school districts to have three months of operating expenditures in fund balance. Maintaining the required fund balance as well as the operational needs of the district (with limited state funding) may restrict districts from building adequate savings to fund facilities and infrastructure needs to accommodate construction costs of building a new facility or repairing and renovating an older one.

Could you provide a detailed breakdown of all the projects that would be covered?

Yes, please CLICK HERE to see a detailed breakdown of each project. 

What is a bond election and why did the district call for one?

Homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home. A school district borrows money in the form of bonds to finance new schools and renovation projects. Both are repaid over time, but in order for a school district to sell bonds (borrow money) it must go to the voters for approval. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses or salaries. Bond funds may only be used for the projects described.

How am I financially impacted if I’m over 65 years old?

The State Property Tax Code allows for school property taxes on an individual homestead to be “frozen” at the age of 65. If you are 65 years of age or older and you have filed for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption”, there is a ceiling on the amount of school taxes to be paid. The only exception is if improvements are made to a home. As such, a tax increase from a new bond program cannot increase the applicable tax ceiling of a taxpayer that has qualified for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption” unless improvements are made to the home.
 

But why does the ballot say “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE”?

State law requires this language on all school bond referendums. If economic conditions in the district became adverse, the district would be legally required to levy an I&S tax rate sufficient to repay the bonds. Equally if the conditions improve the I&S tax rate could be reduced accordingly.

Who is eligible to vote in this election?

Any registered voter who lives within the Longview ISD boundaries — and whose voter 
registration is based on their current LISD residence — is eligible to vote in this bond election.

Can I still register to vote in time for this election?

The deadline to apply for voter registration is April 4, 2024  in order to vote in the May 4, 2024 election.