AUSTIN (KXAN) - Voters have helped dig the Hutto school district out of their financial hole.
Election results for a tax ratification election were tallied Saturday night. According to Williamson County, 854 people voted in favor of a 13 cent property tax rate increase and 427 voted against it.
Voter turnout was nearly double that of last fall when the exact same measure failed. The majority of voters case their ballot during early voting.
Hippos United, a group of parents and city business leaders joined forces to endorse the proposition . They made phone calls to voters on Election Day and posted signs around town encouraging the community to vote in favor of the tax hike.
Hutto school leaders say the rate hike will help the district dodge a third round of cuts in the school district. If the proposition failed, the school board would have had to slash another $1.3 million from their already lean budget. The superintendent told KXAN News the board will still look at ways to cut costs.
Over the past two school years, Hutto ISD has had to layoff around 80 teachers and support staff members and close an elementary school. They have also raised student extracurricular fees from $25 to $100 a year.
Hutto was the first Central Texas district to come up with innovative ways to raise revenue, such as licensing the Hutto Hippo image and putting advertising on school buses.
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University of Texas System regents say they're planning to discuss the employment of Austin campus President Bill Powers, who has sparred with lawmakers and critics over his job in recent years.
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