Houston ISD Order May 24 2017

May 2608:34 AM

Commissioner Mike Morath has issued the following notice and order rescinding the previous order and notice of detachment of property from Houston Independent School District and annexation to Aldine Independent School District dated February 23, 2017.  view article arw

If an election is called, voters would be asked to approve an increase in the district's maintenance and operations tax rate, bringing it from $1.04 per $100 valuation to $1.06. The tax money goes into the district's operating budget that pays for salaries, supplies and other daily expenditures.  If that measure passes, the board would lower the interest and sinking tax rate from 50 cents to 48 cents. Those taxes can only be used to pay off bond debts on facilities.  Superintendent Jamie Wilson stressed that the overall tax rate of $1.54 would not change. view article arw

Homeowners who want to appeal their property appraisals will soon be able to do so by phone instead of having to go into a district office. The change comes after a bill authored by state Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, was signed into law by the governor.  After passing both the House and the Senate unanimously earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 445 on Tuesday. The new rules go into effect on Sept. 1.  Previously, the only options a property owner had in appealing a property appraisal was to appear in person at a hearing at a district office or to file an affidavit. view article arw

The Nacogdoches Independent School District is at risk of losing badly needed state funding. Property valuations conducted by state appraisers are much higher than what local appraisers have on record. The difference could block NISD from state revenue, so the central appraisal district has an appeal in the works. In the meantime, some important items are cut in a proposed budget.   view article arw

A booming real estate market drove steep rises in taxable property values across Dallas County this year, the head of the Dallas Central Appraisal District said Tuesday. Residential property values jumped by 9.9 percent this year across the county, while commercial property values increased 14.6 percent, said Ken Nolan, the district's chief appraiser. The value of new construction rose 25 percent vs. last year. Nolan unveiled the preliminary appraised values at the Dallas County Commissioners Court, noting that the total values are expected to drop after property owners protest their values and many see reductions. About 54 percent of county residential property owners will see proposed increases this year, Nolan said. He added that demand for housing has outpaced the county's supply. view article arw

Amarillo Independent School District might hold off on a tax hike to pay for salaries and day-to-day operations, but it is revving up for a bond election that will address aging infrastructure. After mulling five-cent and nine-cent tax increases in March and April, the district’s board of trustees was expected to vote Monday evening to leave its tax rate alone for the time being. Potential changes to Texas’ school finance system have given trustees confidence that a tax increase — which had been proposed as a way to balance the budget while still giving teachers raises — can be avoided. But looming on the horizon is a potential tax hike in the form of a bond election. view article arw

Texas makes mess of taxes

May 1607:45 AM

Count on the Texas Legislature to come up with a painfully complicated and inefficient way to repeal a painfully complicated and inefficient tax. Lawmakers deserve praise for targeting the Texas Franchise Tax, but their methods are unsound. The franchise tax, also called the margins or business tax, ranks consistently as one of the worst taxes anywhere in the country. It was the convoluted response to the Texas Supreme Court declaring the public school finance system unconstitutional. Lawmakers had to lower property taxes to comply with the court order, so to find replacement funds they rewrote the franchise tax, what businesses pay for the privilege to operate in our great state. view article arw

AUSTIN — Cities and counties that balk at an effort to more tightly regulate their property tax collections will find that state officials will “shove it down their throat” in a special session, House Ways and Means CommitteeChairman Dennis Bonnen said Monday. His comments came as the regular legislative session races to its May 29 conclusion with a number of leaders’ top priorities in limbo — including Senate Bill 2, the property tax measure. view article arw

The Spring ISD board of trustees adopted its District of Innovation plan on April 11, giving it more control over areas such as class size and determining the first day of the school year. The exemptions the district has outlined in its plan will begin in the 2017-18 school year and will remain in effect through the 2021-22 school year. Since the DOI program was approved by the state in 2015 with the passage of House Bill 1842 and implemented in 2016, more than 45 school districts across the state have attained a DOI designation, giving them access to the flexibilities offered at charter schools. view article arw

A newly hired oil and gas appraisal firm that's updating Gregg County's mineral rolls is predicting higher values for the coming tax year. That means homeowners should shoulder less of a tax burden as schools and cities rely more on operators such as Exxon. "We're projecting there's going to be an increase of about 10 percent in the county," specialty appraiser Kenneth Hitt told Gregg County Appraisal District trustees Tuesday. "These are very safe numbers. I really feel we'll see these numbers in the school districts." view article arw

4B is 4-naught

May 0808:17 AM

The type 4B sales tax will end in the fall after all. Those opposing the ballot initiative will get their wish of a lower sales tax rate as of Oct. 1 with their victory Saturday at the ballot box.  Of he 6,781 votes cast, 54.43 percent voted against the measure, which supporters promised would have transformed parks, helped with new road development and helped maintain and operate the Scharbauer Sports Complex.  Overall, 4,274 Midlanders voted against the item, while the number of votes cast in favor of a new 4B was 2,507.   This is the second straight ballot initiative to fail in Midland. In October, voters soundly defeated an MISD tax increase proposal by a near-2-to-1 margin. This is the first time in more than 20 years that Midlanders voted to defeat initiatives on consecutive ballots.  view article arw

For the second time in seven months, voters within the Houston Independent School District will determine how - and if - it should pay tens of millions to help subsidize districts that collect little in property taxes. The vote Saturday comes as some HISD trustees have reassessed a decision by voters in November not to write a $77.5 million check to the state to comply with Texas' "recapture" policy. view article arw

A yes vote on HISD Proposition1 costs less for HISD taxpayers than a no vote, with no downside. It's that simple.  A yes vote would allow the HISD board to write a "recapture" check to the state. That's bad, but the alternative is worse.  Those who urged a no vote on this same question last fall told us that voting no would force the legislature to "fix the system" so that HISD wouldn't have to pay recapture. But there's been no such legislative fix considered, and the legislative session ends in about a month. The threat hasn't worked view article arw

Repost!  AG opinion requested by representative John Zerwas on behalf of Fort Bend ISD. Pay attention this is not the first time to debate total rate as rollback versus the M&O rollback rate.  view article arw

Repost!  Opinion: (KP-0144) Whether the computation of state funding for school districts receiving additional state aid for tax reduction must include local option homestead exemptions that were determined to be authorized in Attorney General Opinion KP-0072 (2016)  Request for Opinion: ( RQ-0137-KP)  Summary: The computation of state funding for school districts receiving additional state aid for tax reduction must not include local option homestead exemption repeals or reductions that Tax Code subsection 1 l.13(n-1) prohibits. read more arw

The Texas House will debate a tax phase-out on Thursday that would likely thrill business owners while cutting funds for public schools.  House Bill 28, authored by state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, would cut the unpopular “franchise tax” paid by businesses. The proposal would not reduce the tax during the current penny-pinching legislative session, but it would do so in future years. view article arw

Texas lawmakers are trying to get rid of an unpopular but useful tax on business — an idea that sounds better to lawmakers today than it might sound to their successors in a few years.  Property values in Texas will fall someday, shifting public education costs from Texans currently stuck in the property tax vise to the state itself. And the franchise tax on business — the tax that got the state out of trouble the last time it needed money for schools — might not be there next time. view article arw

 The Sweeny ISD board of trustees is in the early stages of considering calling for a tax ratification election this fall. However, board president Glenn Garrison said what’s being proposed will not only benefit taxpayers but the school district as well. view article arw

A state income taxisn't the poison most think it is; it would bring relief to many  - With each passing legislative session, our state gets further behind on keeping pace with our population growth and inflation.  Taking this into account, the 2018-2019 budget state leaders are considering is6 percent lower than last session's budget two years ago. That is, less money for higher education, public schools, Child Protective Services and retired teachers. Add to that the pressure our state's limited budget places on local governments when coupled with unfunded mandates and property-tax restrictions, and you'll soon get a glimpse of the looming budgetary crisis that will directly affect Texas families.  Just because we choose to inadequately finance our state's needs doesn't mean that those needs cease to exist. Texas doesn't have a spending problem - we have a revenue problem! view article arw

A collection of public-interest and education-focused groups is trying to get a tax hike for Dallas ISD back on the table. The ‘Strong Schools Strong Dallas’ coalition announced its launch at a news conference Thursday, with Dallas’ Holland Elementary School as the backdrop, calling for renewed push for a property tax increase that could provide DISD with as much as $100 million in additional funding.  “Our public schools are the lifeline for our children and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, our economy and our democracy,” said Allison Brim, the education campaign director for the Texas Organizing Project.    “Dallas ISD has been making important progress, despite already facing budget cuts that will likely become even more severe. And because of the general under-funding of public education, especially from Austin, we must take action locally.” view article arw

During a state Senate committee hearing Tuesday, there was broad agreement that high property taxes in Texas are a big potential impediment to businesses that might consider relocating here.  But there was less agreement on whether the Texas Economic Development Act — a 16-year-old law that allows school districts to waive a portion of a company’s property tax bill for a decade in exchange for a deal to move significant operations within its boundaries — has helped or exacerbated the problem.  Such tax abatement deals “subsidize some businesses on the backs of other businesses and taxpayers” across the state because the school districts are reimbursed from state coffers for the tax revenue they agree to give up, said state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Fort Worth.  “The time has arrived for Texas to end this program,” she said. view article arw

It's hard to tell the tax hawks from the tax doves sometimes. A legislative proposal meant to make it easier for school districts to grant temporary tax rate cuts was derailed last week by opponents who say it would also allow districts to raise taxes without voter approval.  It would do both things — and either of them would probably make property taxpayers happy.  Currently, school districts with tax rates of $1.04 or more can't raise rates without voter permission. They also cannot temporarily lower rates without another vote when it's time to return to the original higher rate. view article arw

Scratch-off lottery tickets are big business in Texas.  They raise billions for state coffers and are so popular that as many as 95 new scratch-off games are introduced here each year, making up a sizable chunk of overall Texas Lottery sales, officials say.  But lottery officials are worried they will have to cut back on the variety of scratch-offs offered — and on the advertising that promotes the games — now that Texas budget writers are considering cutting as much as $18 million from the agency’s budget. view article arw

Frisco Independent School District school board members, staff and parents received their first look at the proposed 2017-2018 budget Monday evening, which includes cuts to support staff. For the last eight months, a group of 28 parents, staff and community members has worked on a priorities-based budget to find ways to save money or generate additional revenue for a district facing a $30 million shortfall by 2020. Source: Frisco ISD Budget Proposes Cuts to Support Staff | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Frisco-ISD-Budget-Proposes-Cuts-to-Support-Staff-419100014.html#ixzz4dwygxKsj Follow us: @nbcdfw on Twitter | NBCDFW on Facebook view article arw

Late Tuesday afternoon Brownsboro Independent School District  Superintendent Tommy Hunter received an e-mail notifying him of the completion of the refunding process which resulted in a total debt service savings of $1,465,100, which is more favorable, in fact, than original projections. Five months ago, at the November school board meeting, Brownsboro ISD’s Executive Director of Finance Jon Lundmark and the financial advisor Josh McLaughin from BOK Financial Securities, Inc. presented a bond refunding plan showing substantial projections of savings for BISD, if the district decided to refinance certain bonds. view article arw

After 2016 when Frisco voters were asked to go to the polls eight times, some local officials are concerned about voter turnout for elections this year that will change the makeup of Frisco leadership and other major issues. In May, there will be a combined total of nine seats at stake for Frisco City Council, Frisco ISD school board and Collin College board of trustees. The college is also holding a $600 million bond election that, if approved, would help finance the college’s long-range master plan that includes additional campuses in other cities in the county. view article arw

Texas is run by people who hold economic growth up as a kind of secular sacrament, whining against the regulations and fees that throttle businesses and cost jobs and whatnot. It’s a reliable line of attack in the state Legislature, used for a range of issues, like tort reform, environmental regulation and who should use which bathroom.  So why did lawmakers devise and refine a school finance system that relies on some of the economic impediments they regularly wail against? view article arw

Senate lawmakers approved a bill to give voters more control over property tax increases, but opponents say the measure, and a similar House proposal, would hurt Texas’ quality of life. “This tax relief is very minimal but it has a very negative impact on cities’ abilities to provide core services,” said Steve Polasek, Cleburne’s city manager. “The negative impacts are going to be long term.” Ron Wright, a former Arlington city council member who’s now Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector, says that unaccountable local taxing entities are the problem, not the solution to rising tax bills.  view article arw

Tax appraisals are out and the cost to live in Central Texas continues to rise. Travis County residents are seeing an eight percent increase in home values, and 23 percent increase for commercial properties. In Williamson County, the average residential market value also went up eight percent. For those who feel their home or property has been overvalued, you can protest the increase.First, homeowners have to understand how the appraisal district came up with that number in order to demonstrate the appraisal is too high.  view article arw

This year President Trump and the GOP Congress will pass a tax reform bill that reduces personal and corporate income tax rates, implements full business expensing and moves to a “territorial” – as opposed to “worldwide” tax system. Though there is much excitement about the prospect of the first federal tax code overhaul in three decades, there are still many significant tax reform proposals pending in major state capitals whose fate will be decided long before a federal tax reform bill even gets a committee hearing. view article arw

The Quinlan Independent School District School Board hired a consultant Monday night at its regular monthly meeting in a strategy that would earn an additional $700,000 annually in state funds without increasing the tax rate. A contract was approved in the amount of $6,000 with Dr. John Walch to provide his services throughout the process of a tax ratification election after he talked with board members by way of a phone multi-media presentation. Walch discussed the plan while it was projected onscreen. view article arw

With budget talks officially starting this week, the Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees are weighing possible increases to its property tax rate.  Trustees on Monday explored a 5-cent and 9-cent rate increase as they brace for a potential shortfall in state funding in what is shaping up to be a tight year for lawmakers in Austin.  And school choice legislation, which could use public education dollars to send students to private schools, also has the district concerned.  “If the state doesn’t come through to give us the aid we need, we have to keep our options open,” said Amarillo ISD Chief Financial Officer Pati Buchenau, who supplied trustees with budget projections. view article arw

Seeing no sign of increased public education funding from the state in fiscal year 2017-18, Fort Bend ISD officials are considering changing the district’s tax rate. At Monday’s board meeting, trustees will hear more on a proposed net 2 cent tax “swap and drop” to generate more property tax revenue for FBISD. view article arw

Growth dominated two state of the region speeches delivered Tuesday by Bell County Judge Jon Burrows and Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra. The judge and mayor discussed growth and other happenings in their areas at an event hosted by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce at the Grace Christian Center, 1401 Elms Road. “The growth has been tremendous,” Burrows said while discussing Bell County’s population. Between 2000 and 2010 the county grew by 30 percent. Current estimates Burrows talked about pegged the county’s population at 360,000 people. view article arw

City Council reassigned a small portion of Houston's delinquent tax roll Wednesday from the politically-connected tax giant Linebarger to its higher-performing competitor Perdue, even as some council members questioned why Perdue wasn't receiving a larger slice of the pie. Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins & Mott and Greenberg Traurig, which collects on 13 percent of the city's delinquent tax roll, maintained an 81 percent collection rate this fiscal year, according to the city, compared with Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson's 43 percent collection rate on the remaining accounts. view article arw