Polls close at 7pm for Saturday voting

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin school district voters will decide the fate of a $892 million bond package on Saturday.

Voters will be able to pick and choose which parts of the plan they think are worth the money. It’s the largest bond package in AISD history.

The day before the election AISD is weighing both options by analyzing what would happen if the bond would fail or when they would begin all those improvements if it were passed.

If  the bond package is approved AISD says their board will immediately lay out an elaborate plan to execute everything on their list of improvements.

But the bond is facing opposition. The Travis County Taxpayers Union says AISD repeatedly holds bond elections because of fiscal mismanagement.

However, AISD says government funding is not enough to cover things like renovations.

“What tends to happen is part of the money that the bigger districts like Austin ISD, Houston ISD, Dallas ISD and those funds are returned back to the state so they can help the smaller districts,” said Antonio Lujan, a spokesman for AISD.

If the package is not approved the district says there will be a long road ahead trying to figure out where that funding would come from.

“We will have to go back to the drawing board and start back from step one and see what exactly we can afford and what are our resources,” said Lujan.

The decision is now in the hands of voters to decide the future of the district.  Bond elections typically don’t generate large turnouts at the polls.

Five percent of Travis County voters have already turned out to the polls during early voting.

Here is how the nonpartisan League of Women Voters explains the four proposals on the ballot.

Proposition 1

  • Equipment for technology, health and improving energy conservation
  • Cost: $140.5 million

Proposition 2

  • Building new Schools for overcrowding
  • Safety and security
  • Improving facilities for fine arts, physical education and athletics
  • Cost: $233.9 million

Proposition 3

  • Repairs for aging schools
  • infrastructure renovations
  • Safeguard investments
  • and School library renovations
  • Cost: $349.1 million

Proposition 4

  • Academic initiatives
  • Facility improvements for for fine arts, physical education and the old Anderson High School.
  • Cost: $168.5 million

If the entire package passes, it would cost homeowners with a house valued at $200,000 about $70 a year which is about $5.85 a month.

People over 65 would not be impacted with a homestead exemption.

Property tax  for a business would be about $178 a year on a median value of about $509,385.

Early voting for the bond election was from April 29 to May 7.  Election day is May 11. Polls open Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.