Voters in Azle approve $151M school bond; Birdville OKs new tax rate

dfwnewsa | November 8, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Voters in Azle approve 1M school bond; Birdville OKs new tax rate

A sign opposing HEB ISD’s bond was posted outside of a polling location in Colleyville on Nov. 7, 2023. (Haley Samsel | Fort Worth Report)

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Voters in two Tarrant County school districts approved ballot measures dealing with growth and school security. 

Azle ISD voters on Nov. 7 OK’d a $151.5 million bond to manage an expected 1,500 new students in the next decade. Birdville ISD voters approved a new tax rate for the 2023-24 school year to improve campus security, increase teacher pay and fund other student programs.

The Azle ISD bond passed with 53.27% of the vote, according to unofficial election results from Tarrant, Parker and Wise counties.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the election,” Superintendent Todd Smith said in a statement. “Every vote matters, and I truly appreciate everyone’s effort in getting to the polls and helping get voters to the polls.”

The bond calls for:

  • A new building to replace Azle Junior High
  • An addition to Forte Junior High
  • Renovations to elementary and intermediate schools
  • An expansion of Azle ISD’s police department headquarters
  • A new maintenance warehouse

Azle ISD officials do not expect the bond to affect the district’s property tax rate. With the bond, the district’s tax rate will be $1.13 per $100 of valuation — 8 cents lower than the 2022-23 rate. In the past five years, officials cut 19 cents off of the tax rate.

Bond projects are expected to be completed by fall 2026.

Azle ISD has more than 7,100 students and encompasses 95 square miles in portions of Tarrant, Parker and Wise counties. The district serves the cities of Azle, Lakeside, Pelican Bay, Reno and Sanctuary.

Meanwhile, Birdville ISD’s tax rate ratification measure secured 78.13% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

Birdville ISD’s new property tax rate is $1.2031 per $100 of valuation. The school board sent the rate to the ballot because trustees approved a tax higher than they could set by themselves. 

School boards cannot exceed a property tax higher than the voter-approval rate. Birdville ISD’s voter-approval rate was $1.10133. 

The new rate is more than 10 cents higher than the voter-approval rate. However, the tax is almost 8 cents lower than the 2022-23 rate of $1.2798.

Most of the property tax cuts homeowners will see across the state are because of the Texas Legislature

The average home in Birdville ISD has an appraised value of $314,077, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District. However, only $199,952 of the value is used for taxes.

A newly approved homestead exemption allows property owners to take $100,000 off their home’s appraised value. Birdville ISD would then tax only $99,952 of a home’s value.

The average property tax bill to Birdville ISD would be $1,202.52 — $933.29 lower than the 2022-23 bill.

Last year, the average home had an appraised value of $259,580 and only $206,886 was used for taxes. After a $40,000 homestead exemption, only $166,886 was taxed. 

In 2022, that homeowner paid $2,135.81 in property taxes to Birdville ISD. 

Birdville ISD has 22,637 students and serves Richland Hills and parts of Colleyville, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Hurst, North Richland Hills and Watauga.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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