Frequently Asked Questions
Tax and Financial Information
Understanding the Tax Rate
Public school taxes involve two figures which divide the school district’s budget into two “buckets.”
The first is the Maintenance & Operations (M&O) budget, also known as the General Fund. This is used to pay for the day-to-day operations of a district and includes items such as salaries, utilities, food, gas, supplies, etc.
The second is the Interest & Sinking (I&S) budget or Debt Service. This fund is used to repay debt for capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections. This fund is similar to a mortgage or home improvement loan.
Funds from a bond issue can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of land, and the purchase of capital items, such as equipment, technology, and transportation. By law, I&S funds cannot be used for the M&O budget, which means voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase salaries or to pay for rising costs of utilities or services.
School Bonds in Texas