Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Orangefield sets information meetings on bond election

Informational meetings on the $43 million bond election r the Orangefield school district will be held on Thursday, October 19, and Tuesday, October 24.

Early voting on the bond issue will start Monday, October 23. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.

The informational meetings are for parents, taxpayers, and the general public interested in the schools. The meetings will be held each evening at 6 in the high school cafeteria, 10058 FM 105. The meetings will have presentations on the plans, costs, and tax rates. Interested people may attend one session, or both.

Early voting will be held at the Orange Public Library, Mauriceville Community Center, Orange County Airport, and the Raymond Gould Community Center in Vidor. Eligible registered voters may go to any of the polling sites.

The early voting hours will be Monday, October 23, through Friday, October 27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The early voting will continue on Monday, October 30, through Wednesday, November 1, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended hours will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, and Friday, November 3.

The November election will include propositions to the Texas State Constitution, but not local county offices like sheriff or constable. Party primary races for county offices will be in March.

The school board in August called for the bond election which the school board says will include a number of measures to improve safety. Safety has become a big issue with schools as the number of school shooting tragedies rises and the state legislature adds more requirements on school districts to protect their students.

One of the safety changes will be to build enough classrooms at Orangefield Elementary to house all students rather than keep some in portable buildings. Because of the influx of new housing developments in the district that are attracting more families to the district, the bond plans include adding classrooms to all three campuses.

The high school will be getting a new cafeteria and library, if the bonds are approved. Other improvements are set for the elementary and junior high campuses.

The school board's information says the bond issue will not affect the property taxes for homeowners age 65 or older, who have their school taxes frozen at the time the reach 65. The cost to other taxpayers is in question based on another issue on that November general election ballot.

Texas voters will have a constitutional amendment to cut school property taxes on the November general election ballot. If that proposition is approved, the savings from the state law change in the state law will drastically cut the portion of school property taxes homeowners pay. That change, however, will affected only a school districts general fund used for Maintenance and Operations, or M&O. The M&O rate is set by each school board based on caps from the state.

Voters within a district must approve a bond issue, so the state allows the voters to decide whether they want to pay more for new buildings and improvements to schools.

If statewide voters approve the proposition to cut school taxes, the cuts could mean an increase to pay more in bond debts could not add to what a taxpayer paid last year.

More information on the bond election is available at the Orangefield ISD website.


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