VATRE-Voter Approved Tax Ratification Election

What is VATRE?

A Voter Approved Tax Ratification Election, commonly referred to as VATRE, is a democratic process that enables local residents to vote on whether to increase property taxes to secure additional funding for specific purposes, usually related to public education. These elections are often utilized by school districts but can also be employed by other local government entities.

In VATRE, the governing body (such as a school board) seeks voter approval to exceed the state-mandated tax rate, commonly known as the "rollback rate." The rollback rate is the maximum rate at which property taxes can be assessed without triggering an automatic election. If the governing body wishes to impose taxes above this rate, a VATRE must be held.

Early Voting Dates and Locations:

Port Isabel City Hall City Commission Chambers Meeting Room- 305 E Maxan St

South Padre Island Community Center-  4501 Padre Blvd.

Los Fresnos Community Center- 204 N Brazil St.

San Benito Community Building- 210 E Heywood St.

Cameron Park Community Center (El Centro Cultural)- 2100 Gregory Ave.

Main Office Cameron County Judicial Complex- 954 E. Harrison St.

Brownsville Public Library- 2600 Central Blvd.

Southmost Public Library- 4320 Southmost Rd.

Brownsville ISD Administrative Bldg.- 1900 E Price Rd.

Cameron County Harlingen Annex Bldg.- 3302 Wilson Rd.

American Legion Hall- 219 E Commercial Ave.

Harlingen Cultural Arts Center- 576 '76' Dr.

Santa Rosa Maria Luisa Ruiz Guerra County Annex Bldg.- 116 Santa Vista Ave.

Rio Hondo Municipal Center- 121 N Arroyo Blvd.

Los Indios Community Center- 309 Heywood St.



Monday October 23 thru Friday, October 27


Saturday, October 28 and Sunday October 29


Monday, October 30 thru Wednesday, November 1


Thursday, November 2 and Friday, November

9 A.M.- 6 P.M.


10 A.M.-5 P.M.


9 A.M.-6 P.M.


8 A.M.-8 P.M.

November 7, 2023 Election Day Locations:
7:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M.

Port Isabel City Hall- 305 E Maxan St.

El Jardin Elementary School- 6911 Boca Chica Blvd.

South Padre Island Community Center- 4501 Padre Blvd

Laguna Vista City Hall- 122 Fernandez St.







Why are VATREs Conducted?

The primary reason for conducting a VATRE is to generate additional revenue for critical public services that might be underfunded. Most commonly, these elections are associated with funding for public education. Schools rely heavily on property taxes to cover expenses such as teacher salaries, school supplies, facility maintenance, and extracurricular programs.

When schools face financial challenges due to increasing costs or changing economic conditions, they might seek to exceed the rollback rate through a VATRE to ensure they can continue offering quality education to students. By involving the community in the decision-making process, schools aim to garner public support for the tax increase and create a transparent and accountable approach to funding allocation.




The Process of VATRE


  1. Assessment: The governing body assesses its financial needs and determines whether a tax rate increase is necessary to maintain or enhance public services.

  2. Resolution: The governing body passes a resolution to hold a VATRE, specifying the proposed tax rate increase and the intended use of the additional revenue.

  3. Public Information: Public hearings and educational campaigns are conducted to inform residents about the proposed tax increase, its purpose, and the potential impact on the community.

  4. Voting: Registered voters within the jurisdiction participate in the election, either through mail-in ballots or in-person voting, depending on local regulations.

  5. Outcome: If the majority of voters approve the tax rate increase, the governing body is authorized to collect taxes at the new rate. If the proposal is rejected, the tax rate remains unchanged.