The BISD Board of Trustees were handed some disappointing news at Monday's meeting when Superintendent Lacy Freeman reported that the Leon County Appraisal numbers were out of compliance. The District lost significant funding from the State when the appraisal numbers were out of compliance for three years in a row. view article arw

The Texas oil and gas industry gives, and it takes away.  A report released this morning from the Texas Oil and Gas Association calculated the extraordinary amount of government money generated by the industry. Oil and gas pumped $9.4 billion into government budgets through taxes and royalties in 2016. That adds up to $26 million each day, according to Todd Staples, TXOGA's president.  But Staples also pointed out that these numbers are lower than in past years because of the prolonged slump in oil and gas prices. The prices are up now but haven't recovered to earlier levels.  A year ago, TXOGA reported that the industry paid $13.8 billion to Texas governments, the second highest number ever. This year's figure is down by 32 percent from the previous year and down 40 percent from 2015. view article arw

In a legislative session loaded with bad policy ideas, Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s revenue caps bill is among the worst. Senate Bill 2 would further limit the amount of revenue local governments could raise as property values increase. Under existing law, cities and counties can increase revenue by as much as 8 percent without inviting a rollback election. The Senate bill would reduce that amount to 4 percent. view article arw

If your property taxes are too high, blame the Legislature and the shell game it plays with public school finance.  First, let’s back up. The property tax/school finance intersection is a complicated beast and one that deserves a little unpacking. To start, property taxes are not a state tax; property taxes are paid annually by homeowners and collected by local school districts instead of the state. Even if you don’t own a house, you pay property taxes; a portion of your rent goes toward taxes paid either by landlord or your apartment complex, which is on the hook for the property taxes collected on commercial real estate. view article arw

Home tax breaks done many ways

February 2007:45 AM
 

Denton County’s largest cities take different tacks when taxing single-family homes, a Denton Record-Chronicle analysis has found. The Record-Chronicle conducted the analysis in advance of the May 6 election, which challenges how Denton taxes single-family houses.  view article arw

If your property taxes are too high, blame the Legislature and the shell game it plays with public school finance. First, let’s back up. The property tax/school finance intersection is a complicated beast and one that deserves a little unpacking. To start, property taxes are not a state tax; property taxes are paid annually by homeowners and collected by local school districts instead of the state. Even if you don’t own a house, you pay property taxes; a portion of your rent goes toward taxes paid either by landlord or your apartment complex, which is on the hook for the property taxes collected on commercial real estate. view article arw

Denton ISD discusses budget

February 1707:45 AM
 

Though it won’t be finalized until June, Denton ISD budget talks got underway at Tuesday night’s board meeting. Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Debbie Monschke presented facts and figures delineating the district’s revenue and expenditures over the course of five years. She also went over a tentative schedule if the board decides to call for a tax ratification election in September. view article arw

This session, the Texas Senate has prioritized a bill that purports to ease the property tax burden by limiting the services a city could provide its residents, yet another instance of state lawmakers trying to usurp local control.  And supporters of Senate Bill 2 have found an unlikely enabler in Manuel Medina, a candidate for mayor whose support for the legislation runs counter to the interests of a city he wants to lead.  Mayor Ivy Taylor has an idea why. view article arw

Also at this morning's county commission meeting, leaders adopted a resolution, opposing a Texas Senate bill relating to property tax relief.  Senate Bill 2 (SB-2) would limit annual property tax increases. The bill, if passed, would reduce the 8 percent limit to four percent or lower to call a rollback election. Many local government officials say this puts a restriction on their revenues to finance different needs.    view article arw

Gregg County Appraisal District trustees narrowed their search for a chief appraiser to two candidates Tuesday, one from a family of Texas property appraisers and the other second-in-command at the office in Longview. view article arw

The Hearne ISD school board met Monday night to formally hire Dr. Adrain Johnson as the district's permanent superintendent. The board voted 4-2 to accept the terms of Johnson's contract. The board also discussed the potential of granting a tax abatement to a local rail car company looking to expand. Last month, General American Transportation Corporation, also known as GATX, asked the board to grant the abatement for ten years on the company's new expansion. In return, GATX plans to help students in the district get started in the welding industry. view article arw

Three months after convincing voters to stand up to the state's so-called Robin Hood school finance system, a split Houston ISD school board voted Thursday evening to hold another election in May to reconsider the decision to let the state detach commercial property.  Recapture sees so-called property rich districts give money back to the state so it can be redistributed to property poor districts.  But in January, the Texas Education Agency announced it would exempt 50 percent of the value that HISD loses through its generous 20 percent homestead exemption. HISD is one of the few districts that offers an exemption this large. view article arw

Lateefah Pruitt has been a real estate agent for 10 years, and during the past five years, she has diversified her business by bidding on properties at trustee's sales at the Gregg County Courthouse. view article arw

The Gregg County taxman has been dismissed from a lawsuit brought by Kilgore ISD property owners who say the school district improperly eliminated their homestead exemption during last year's tax season.  Plaintiffs Sheila Anderson and Darlene and John Claude Axberg sued the district in the fall after paying the full property tax bills on their two homes. Their case naming the school district and its trustees continues to make its way to trial in the Gregg County Court at Law No. 2 in Longview.  The plaintiffs also named Gregg County Tax Assessor/Collector Kirk Shields as a defendant, apparently because his office collects Kilgore ISD's annual tax payments. The elected official claimed in his successful motion for non-suit that his office simply followed its contractual obligation to collect what the district told him to collect. view article arw

In November, HISD voters rejected the traditional way to send a check to the state. Now HISD must pay with actual commercial property – almost $18 billion worth.  Houston voters may get a second chance on a major school finance payment, potentially avoiding an $18 billion loss in commercial property for the state’s largest school district.  At their monthly meeting Thursday, trustees for the Houston Independent School Board will consider putting recapture back on the ballot. view article arw

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, has been playing fast and loosewith the numbers in his push to get state lawmakers to lower the cap on cities' and counties' property tax revenue growth and make it easier for residents to roll back taxes through a local election. Clearly, everyone likes the idea of lower taxes — but no one should be willing to get there based on half-truths or exaggerations. Let's discuss this issue with real facts in hand.  view article arw

In November, HISD voters rejected the traditional way to send a check to the state. Now HISD must pay with actual commercial property – almost $18 billion worth.  Houston voters may get a second chance on a major school finance payment, potentially avoiding an $18 billion loss in commercial property for the state’s largest school district.  At their monthly meeting Thursday, trustees for the Houston Independent School Board will consider putting recapture back on the ballot. view article arw

A re-vote on recapture?

February 0708:31 AM
 

This is very interesting.  After reconsideration of an 18-year-old law, state education officials are adjusting their school finance calculations in a way that could save several dozen school districts roughly $100 million — while costing the state the same amount in revenue. One of the apparent beneficiaries is Houston ISD, where the change means taxpayers will be sending about $60 million less to the state for public education than they had expected. At issue is a calculation for recapture — the state’s term for the money that districts with higher property wealth send to the state for use in districts with lower property wealth.  It’s more commonly known as the Robin Hood system of school finance. view article arw

School Property Tax Value Limitation, or Chapter 313 as it is often called, is the most significant incentive a Texas community can offer to help attract new, high-capital industrial investments. As with most economic development incentives in Texas, it has been and should continue to be a local decision. Most states in our nation collect a personal income tax to help fund public education. Not Texas; we use property tax to fund public education. view article arw

This information was certified to the Commissioner of Education on Jan. 31, 2017. It is preliminary and subject to change...... view article arw

Says voter approval of HISD ‘recapture’ would “avoid the lose-lose-lose situation that exists today   During yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing, Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) called for the Houston Independent School District’s Board of Trustees to schedule another HISD “recapture” vote for May and avoid the lose-lose situation that exists today. “I called upon the Houston Independent School District’s Board of Trustees to schedule another vote on recapture credits for HISD voters in May in yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee hearing,” Senator Bettencourt said. “This is a lose-lose-lose situation otherwise.” view article arw

Tax rate swap plan heard by board

January 3008:32 AM
 

The Quinlan ISD School Board heard what impact a tax rate swap and revenue comparison plan might have on the school district Monday night at its regular monthly meeting. School funding consultant Doug Karr was introduced by Supt. Dr. Debra Crosby who said Karr had been asked to present the plan for the board’s consideration.  Board President Kenny Stone told The Quinlan-Tawakoni News he asked Crosby to arrange the discussion after hearing about its results at other school districts. view article arw

The LPE-DPE template has been updated according to Woody Brewton.  The current template is now Release 6 and can be downloaded at this Link. read more arw

Large employers across Midland contributed $110,000 for the tax ratification election that failed in October.  According to campaign reports turned in Friday by the group Better Begins Now Midland First, Concho Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources, Apache Corp., Cimarex Energy Co. and Occidental Petroleum Co. (Oxy) each donated $20,000. Warren Administration Co. added a $10,000 contribution.  The campaign finance report also reported $110,000 in total political expenses, including contribution reimbursements to the six companies.  view article arw

During my years serving the Austin Chamber, home and business property owners have been increasingly vocal about property taxes and their effect on affordability. These concerns grow louder every time we write our annual property tax checks. Most difficult to explain is the biggest portion of each property tax payment goes towards financing public education not just in Austin, but in school districts across Texas. view article arw

Good Point! - Did you catch that footnote in the early budget numbers for the state of Texas? In the midst of all the week’s gloomy state budget news, this stuck out like a gold nugget in a cow patty: Rising property values in the state’s school districts translate into higher local tax revenue and a reduced need for state money for education  That’s another way of saying the state will spend $3.2 billion less in the next budget than it would have — in large measure because property values are up and local taxpayers are unwittingly subsidizing the state.  That frees state officials to spend their time talking about things like limiting local school districts’ ability to collect more taxes.  Feel like everyone is giving you the straight scoop on this? It’s not that everybody in state government is lying, it’s that it’s hard to change one thing in school finance without wrecking something else. view article arw

Updated LPE - DPE Template

January 1201:16 PM
 

The LPE-DPE template has been updated according to Woody Brewton.  The current template is now Release 6 and can be downloaded at this Link. read more arw

A committee meets next week to work through applications for Gregg County's next chief property appraiser, but trustees scuffled a bit Tuesday over Chief Appraiser Tom Hays' retirement fund logistics. view article arw

KILGORE — A trio of Republican state lawmakers got on the same page with Kilgore-area leaders Wednesday as the start of their 140-day legislative session nears.  State Rep.-elect Jay Dean of Longview and Rep. Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches assured a small crowd of city, county and school officials they are unlikely to support a state-imposed cap on local property tax rates that is high on the 85th Legislature's agenda.  Rep. Bryan Hughes, who becomes Sen. Hughes when the session begins Tuesday, said the bill that's upsetting city leaders statewide probably won't come out of the session the same way it went in. view article arw

AUSTIN — On the eve of making his two-year revenue estimate for the Legislature to budget by, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Wednesday reported some good fiscal news — finally. Last month, state sales tax receipts jumped by 4.9 percent over December 2015, the biggest single-month percentage increase in more than a year-and-a-half.  "Sales tax revenue growth was led by collections from sectors driven by consumer spending — retail trade and information services," Hegar said in a written statement. view article arw

AUSTIN — State leaders and lawmakers may feel Texans’ pain when it comes to rising local property taxes, but they’re also getting some gain from the increases as they prepare to write the state budget.  Because of the way formulas for public school finances work, the state’s share of paying for education goes down when local school property tax values go up.  The calculation means that lawmakers who meet in regular session starting this month should have nearly $2 billion more in state money to spend in other areas because they won’t have to put it into schools. view article arw

But steadily rising Texas property values haven’t translated into what could have been a steady drop in school property tax rates. In fact, school tax bills have shot up over a decade when much more modest increases were required — largely because state lawmakers decided the benefits of rising values should go into the state’s budget instead of taxpayer pockets. view article arw

MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) The Marlin ISD has been struggling in recent years with funding being one of the issues, but a city measure could help improve the situation.  The measure would bring more money to the school district without raising taxes by changing the way taxes are divided.   "If we restructure our taxes without a tax increase we get another half a million dollars,” said Marlin ISD Superintendent Mike SeaboltFor the measure to pass, it would have to go through a vote. view article arw

Two years ago, the promises about property tax relief were big and the rewards were small. Don’t expect that to improve much.  The hoopla has not left town. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is again making property tax relief a priority. Paul Bettencourt of Houston, who replaced Patrick in the Senate, held hearings across the state and found exactly what he was looking for — Texans mad about paying some of the highest property taxes in the country. Bettencourt and his allies are pledging relief. view article arw

Why are my taxes going up and where is all that money going?  This is a great question and a common one that many residents have, especially when no improvements have been made to their property.  If your taxes went up this year, the reason is because the Collin County Appraisal District increased the value of your property.  The school district had nothing to do with the determining the value of your property. view article arw