taxesProperty Tax Assistance

Elections to Approve Tax Rate

If the governing body of a taxing unit adopts a tax rate that exceeds the voter-approval tax rate, it must automatically hold an election for voters to approve the tax increase. 1 For school districts, this called a tax rate ratification election or TRE. 2 If a taxing unit other than a school district adopts a tax rate that exceeds the voter-approval tax rate but does not exceed the de minimis rate, voters in the taxing unit may petition for an election on the tax increase. 3 A successful election limits the taxing unit's current tax rate to the voter-approval tax rate. The governing body shall hold an election in the taxing unit that occurs on the uniform election date in November of the applicable tax year. It must adopt the rate no later than the 71st day before the next November uniform election date and the order calling the election may not be issued later than the 78th day before the date of the election. 4

While water districts follow Water Code provisions in most truth-in-taxation matters, they must follow procedures in the Tax Code when it comes to an election. 5

By providing the information below, the Comptroller's office provides technical assistance and not legal advice. Taxing units should consult legal counsel for interpretations of law regarding voter-approval elections.