ATTENDANCE CREDIT ELECTION MAY 2, 2020
Allen ISD will hold a special election on May 2 seeking voter approval for a process to reimburse the state for recapture payments. The special election is required due to changes brought about by Texas House Bill 3 in the last legislative session.
Recapture - Robin Hood Law
Texas law requires school districts that have a high property wealth per student to give a portion of local tax revenue back to the state. Those funds are then shared with school districts showing low property wealth per student. The law, which is commonly referred to as the “Robin Hood law,” has designated Allen ISD as a Chapter 49 or property wealthy district based on our property values. Therefore, a portion of Allen ISD property taxes are subject to recapture by the state for redistribution.
New Legislation Changes Method of Payment
Area districts such as Plano and Frisco ISD have been returning funds for more than fifteen years. In Allen ISD, tax revenue has been subject to recapture since 2011.
The district has been paying recapture funds by purchasing attendance credits from the Texas Education Agency. Until this year, the district has used a state exemption to have recapture funds taken out of its annual state funding without the need for a special election.
Voter Approval Required
Under the new HB3 law, which was passed by the legislature in 2019, the payment process has changed. In order for Allen ISD to continue paying recapture with attendance credits, the school district is now required to seek voter approval. The one-time election would not change the amount of recapture funds or impact Allen ISD taxes. Voters are only being asked to approve the process by which payment is made.
Seven Texas school districts, including McKinney ISD, will also be holding special attendance credit elections this year. Many larger property wealthy school districts such as Plano and Frisco ISD held elections when they were first designated as recapture districts.
If approved by voters, Allen ISD will continue to make payments using attendance credits. A yes vote does not change the total tax rate and also does not change the amount of state revenue Allen ISD receives.
If rejected by voters, Allen ISD would not be able to pay the state using attendance credits. The district tax rate would not change but Allen ISD would still be responsible for the amount of recapture funds. The legislation dictates that the State of Texas would detach property from the district to cover the amount owed to the state. That property would be annexed by the state to another school district.
The Attendance Credit Election will be held in conjunction with the Allen ISD Board of Trustee and Allen City Council elections on May 2, 2020. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. Early voting will begin Monday April 20. Specific times and locations are posted on the Collin County Election website.