MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Hispanic Leaders in Midland put their stamp of approval on Midland ISD's tax increase.
They say to vote "for" the tax hike, even if you don't have kids in the district because the students in school right now are the future of the city.
"We cannot let our education system take a back step if the TRE doesn't pass," said Abraham Gutierrez, a local businessman.
The local leaders met this afternoon in front of South Elementary to officially announce their support.
"We aren't talking about just today when we talk about this tax increase," said Midland Mayor Jerry Morales. "We are planting a seed for the future."
"These schools play an important role, not only providing a quality education, but to help kids maximize their potential," said Gutierrez.
The district is facing a $25 million dollar deficit this school year due to money being sent to Austin under the "Robin Hood Plan," along with declining mineral values.
If the tax hike is approved, the district will be able to cover 26 percent of the deficit.
The district proposed a 3 cent increase. For a homeowner with a house worth $200,000, they will pay about $3.88 per month, which totals out to an increase of $46.50 per year.
Local leaders say it's a small price to pay.
"Our kids deserve the best environment, teachers deserve our continued support, and finally, our community depends on it," said Gutierrez.
Morales says its about preparing the future leaders.
"The future mayors, the future city council, and commissioners, they are there today. We are going to help them get to that spot," said Morales.
If the tax increase doesn't pass, the district would have to make more cuts, which could mean a loss of teachers, academic coaches and reduced health insurance benefits.
The polls are closed for early voting. If you didn't make it, election day is this Saturday, October 8.