A tax increase has some residents at odds.
Earlier this week the Brownsville Independent School District approved of a $11.25 tax increase over the next five fiscal years, 2017-2021.
News Center 23’s Marlane Rodriguez asked BISD Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas why the increase was necessary.
“We need to do some projects and the state will not give us money to do these kind of projects,” she said in an interview.
She said taxes needed to be raised to ensure the quality of education for the students.
“The state also says: districts if you want to do extra you have to raise your taxes,” Zendejas said.
The board meeting that approved the tax increase lasted several hours with people expressing their support and asking questions.
“We know there’s people that are not happy with this but we also know there’s many parents who are appreciative,” the superintendent said, adding her belief the district did the right thing.
“For a home on average home $85,000 it’s going to be less than $100 a year and we believe that these monies are going to be extremely important,” she said.
The tax increase would fund a new performing arts center, Hanna Early College High School Gymnasium, Pre-kindergarten program expansion, KBSD relocation, school renovation projects, Sams Memorial Stadium upgrade and handicap access, school roofing and parking lot repairs.
“These monies will help us on a yearly basis so all children in Brownsville can attend pre-K programs,” Zendejas said.
The Pre-Kindergarten 3-Year-Old Program was only open to students who qualify under a certain income.
“This will help us so that we can open up so that there’s no qualifications,” she said referring to the Pre-K program.
Before the increase, BISD had the lowest taxes in the Region One school districts.
With the new tax increase, BISD will remain one of the lowest in the Valley, with the same tax rate Edcouch-Elsa and Donna school districts.