Skip to main content

2023 VATRE Election

  Proposition A was approved ratifying the tax rate of $0.8173.   
  The vote was 148 for and 50 against.  
  Please accept our thanks and gratitude for your support of the students of Happy ISD.  



Happy Independent School District adopted a tax rate that will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate.  The tax rate will effectively be raised 1.9% and will raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $38.00.

To all Happy ISD eligible voters::
Voting will take place at the general election locations.  You will vote in the county where you reside.  Please see the following links for more information and voting locations:


Swisher Randall Castro Armstrong
English English English English
Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish
Swisher Randall Castro Armstrong
English English English English
Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish
Swisher Randall Castro Armstrong
English English English English
Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish
Historical Tax Rates Efficiency Audit




                ELECTION DATES   

                       October 10
           Last Day to Register to Vote

             October 23 – November 3
                       Early Voting

                      November 7
                      Election Day

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Current state law requires districts to seek voter approval to set a tax rate above a calculated amount.  A majority vote is required to adopt the increased rate.  For Happy ISD, help from voters is needed to set a rate above $0.6973 (a maximum compressed rate of $0.6473 + 5 cents).

  • Economic factors have impacted the cost of insurance, utilities, supplies and materials at a rate that far exceeds any funding available.  Property value growth triggered another level of tax rate compression, and State funding remains stagnant.  Title I federal funds have also been cut.  The district used ESSER funds to help offset deficits in the last two fiscal years.

  • Happy ISD is asking for 12 cents more than what the current law allows due to tax compression.
    $0.6973 + 12 cents = $0.8173 (an increase in the allowable tax rate)

    The net result with the additional 12 cents is 5 cents less than the current tax rate.
    $0.8711 - $0.8173 = $0.0538 (a decrease in the total tax rate)

    The impact to local funding is negligible. Any increase in tax revenue is due solely to the increase in appraised values for Happy ISD properties in Swisher, Randall, Castro, and Armstrong.  The impact to State funding is more significant.  Of the 12 pennies being requested, 3 are golden.  Golden pennies are worth more and generate the highest level of enrichment funding.  The total increase in funding is $250,000.

  • A decrease in the school tax rate should mean a decrease in a property owner’s tax bill, especially pending the approval of the constitutional amendment also on the November ballot to change the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000.

  • If the VATRE does not pass, then the district will operate this fiscal year with a budget deficit of $250,000 and a depleting fund balance to help offset the loss.

  • Proposition A will say, “Ratifying the ad valorem tax rate of $0.8173 in Happy Independent School District for the current year, a rate that will result in an increase of 1.90 percent in maintenance and operations tax revenue for the district for the current year as compared to the preceding year, which is an additional $16,841.”

  • A discount of 3% will still be available for all property tax payments made through December 31, 2023.  No discounts will be applicable to payments made January 1, 2024, or later.

  • An efficiency audit is a review of the district’s fiscal management that is used to help educate voters to make a more informed decision.  It takes a look at everything—finances, accountability, staffing, and students while comparing Happy ISD to peer districts and state standards.