Hallsville ISD voters approve $55 million bond

Hallsville ISD voters form a line wrapping around the Hallsville Central Fire Station, one of the polling sites in the district’s $55 million bond proposition that was approved Tuesday.

HALLSVILLE — The majority of Hallsville ISD voters on Tuesday cast their ballots in favor of the district’s proposed $55 million bond that would allocate money toward a new elementary school, updates to the junior high campus and a new auditorium at the high school, according to unofficial voting numbers released from the Harrison County Elections Office.

Unofficial numbers showed 1,386 voters, or about 54%, voted in favor of the bond, while 1,174 voters, or about 46%, voted against the bond.

“After a tremendous amount of hard work, planning and communication effort, we are very excited about the bond proposal passing and the future of Hallsville ISD,” Hallsville ISD Superintendent Jeff Collum said Tuesday night. “During this process, we have learned a lot from our community and listened very attentively and respectfully. We sincerely appreciate their voices, opinions and feedback during this process. We look forward to getting this work underway as we prepare for the future of our district.”

Hallsville ISD voters also approved Proposition B that allows for $3 million on the district’s 2014 bond to refund and replace maintenance tax debt with interest and sinking tax debt. The measure passed with 1,457 voters, or about 57%, in favor of the move and 1,080 voters, or about 43%, opposed.

Hallsville ISD has said taxpayers could approve the bond and still see a tax decrease, rather than an increase.

Because of an influx of state funding to school districts as part of the recently passed House Bill 3, Hallsville ISD taxpayers will get a 7-cent drop per $100 home valuation in their tax rate, whether the bond passed or not.

The district will see its maintenance and operations tax rate reduced from $1.04 to 97 cents. The district’s interest and sinking (debt) tax rate will remain steady at 33 cents, making a total $1.30 tax rate per $100 of home value, down from $1.37 last year.

The bond includes funds for a “West” elementary school campus on land the district already owns near Page Road and Loop 281 in the Longview city limits but Hallsville ISD; a 1,000-seat high school auditorium; security updates and aesthetic renovations at the junior high school; and district maintenance and transportation upgrades and needs.