At Thursday night’s Pflugerville ISD board meeting, trustees voted to prepare for budget considerations by starting discussions about the 2017-18 tax rate. Trustees began this discussion by setting a cap on the tax rate, without actually setting an exact rate. The board members voted to cap the maintenance and operations tax rate at $1.04 and the sinking and interest rate—which pays back debt from bonds—at $0.50 for a combined maximum of $1.54 per $100 valuation. This is the same as the tax rate set for the 2016-17 fiscal year. view article arw

Property owners in Port Arthur could see an increase in their taxes later this year. If so, school district officials say the money will be used to fund school projects and to increase teacher salaries. view article arw

The Bryan school district administration will soon ask trustees for a tax ratification election to lower the overall tax rate by 1 cent.  Superintendent Christie Whitbeck made the announcement to the Bryan Rotary Club on Wednesday. She told attendees that the district has the opportunity to give local property owners some tax relief and earn millions more in state funding by restructuring the district's tax rate, but it needs voter approval to do so.  Bryan property owners currently pay a total of $1.35 per $100 valuation toward public schools -- 31 cents of this is called the I&S rate and goes toward paying off the district's debt, while $1.04 is called the M&O rate and goes toward district maintenance and operations view article arw

Texas legislators will soon convene in special session to tackle “property tax reform,” just as local taxing districts across the state begin their budget work to determine how much Texans will pay in taxes for next year. Ironically, while the Legislature imposes a number of taxes, the property tax isn’t one of them — that falls to a multitude of local governments including school districts, cities, counties and a plethora of special districts (junior colleges, hospitals, roads, and water and wastewater districts). view article arw

The Bryan school district administration will soon ask trustees for a tax ratification election to lower the overall tax rate by one cent. Christie Whitbeck made the announcement to the Bryan Rotary Club on Wednesday. She told attendees that the district has the opportunity to give local property owners some tax relief and earn millions more in state funding by restructuring the district’s tax rate, but it needs voter approval to do so. view article arw

Attorneys representing the school district and David Garza, the plaintiff who filed a temporary restraining order to stop the TRE, agreed to dissolve the injunction on Wednesday during an emergency hearing held inside Judge Luis M. Singleterry’s 92nd District Court. The hearing was requested by the district and Superintendent Daniel Treviño — the defendants named in the TRO. view article arw

It's one thing to say you want to solve a problem and quite another to actually dosomething to solve the problem. With his plan to address property taxes in the upcoming special session of the state Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick clearly misunderstands the difference.  Patrick's plan, called Senate Bill 2 in the regular legislative session, doesn't cut taxes. It offers headlines and catchy bumper sticker slogans, but no real relief. It purposely and cravenly misdirects Texans' attention to cover the real problem: a broken school finance system. view article arw

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is making a compelling argument that the state needs an income tax. With a PowerPoint presentation at hand, Patrick opened this week by demonstrating to about two hundred people at a pre-special session conference of the Texas Public Policy Foundation that under the state’s current tax structure there is no money available for an expensive fix to the public school finance system and the high local property taxes that pay for the lion’s share of it. The state spent what it had on the current two-year budget, he said.  “That’s all there is folks,” Patrick said. “There is no more money.” view article arw

Royal ISD voters can generate an estimated additional $1.6 million for Maintenance and Operations (M&O) without increasing its total tax rate of $1.528817 from 2015 by approving a tax swap in a Tax Ratification Election (TRE). A tax swap raises the M&O tax rate $0.13 and drops the I&S (Interest and Sinking (debt service) tax rate $0.13. view article arw

An election is scheduled next month for a tax ratification election in the Quinlan Independent School District.  The ballot will be to decide if voters in the Quinlan ISD will approve of the proposed property tax rate for the district’s maintenance and operations, which is higher than the rollback rate.  However, the district’s overall tax rate is not increasing, as the Quinlan ISD Board of Trustees has decreased the interest and sinking rate by the same amount. view article arw

Buffalo ISD Superintendent Lacy Freeman led the Board of Trustees through the mechanics of what he said is called a “swap” where I&S taxes are moved to M&O taxes which Freeman says will result in a $137,000 increase in revenue from the state. The move would require a vote of the citizens of the district and would result in no net tax increase according to Freeman. view article arw

While Harrison County had to buckle down and increase the tax rate last year, the county judge said Monday that he hopes that's not the case for this upcoming fiscal year. "I do not have certified numbers from the tax authority, but they are working hard to get that this week," Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor informed commissioners at Monday's special-called budget hearing. view article arw

With property values skyrocketing, more and more Bexar County residents are appealing their Appraisal District's states valuation on their homes and businesses, and many are leaving the appeal hearing dissatisfied and looking for the next step, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. Attorney Rahul Patel of the local firm of Patel Gaines, who specializes in property tax issues, says, for many property owners, that 'next step' is cumbersome and expensive, and demonstrate the many reforms that are needed in the Texas appraisal system. "The way the process is set up, is if the property owner is not happy with the results, they then have to incur the expense and take the lead in justifying their own value and negate why they think the Appraisal District's value is incorrect," he said. view article arw

Local taxing entities are not your enemy. Your elected officials in Austin want to blame local elected officials for your property tax increase, but at the same time using your local tax base to help balance their budget through unfunded mandates. SB1, the State Budget Act requires an increase of 13.81 percent in school property taxes during the next two years. The second sentence under “Formula Funding” reads as follows: “Property values, and the estimates of local tax collections on which they are based, shall be increased by 7.04 percent for tax year 2017 and 6.77 percent for tax year 2018. view article arw

So-called property tax reform is back on the agenda for the special legislative session, which starts Tuesday.  It shouldn’t be confused with meaningful property tax reform. Meaningful reform might include fixing the appraisal process for commercial property sales, which are kept secret (unlike residential sales). Reform would definitely include addressing the state’s ongoing school finance crisis since local taxes for public schools are the dominant drivers of property tax bil view article arw

A state district judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring the Mercedes school district from holding a tax ratification election, which has already drawn the ire of residents concerned that the measure is being rushed to the polls.  District Judge Luis M. Singleterry signed off on the injunction Wednesday morning and set a hearing on the TRO for 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26.  The order now halts early voting for the TRE, which kicked off Wednesday and was slated to run at three polling locations in Mercedes through Tuesday, July 25. Election day was scheduled for Saturday, July 29, for a proposal that asked voters to consider moving 13 cents from the school district’s interest and sinking fund to maintenance and operations. These are commonly referred to as I&S and M&O. view article arw

Texas lawmakers are fixin’ to fiddle with property taxes while federal lawmakers might be fixin’ to fiddle with something important about property taxes. We’ll see what tune the semi-simultaneous fiddlin’ produces. Many Texans believe our property taxes, the financial lifeblood of public schools, are too damn high. And many Texans believe school funding is too damn low. It’s a very challenging, very real equation that lawmakers have been wrestling with since shortly after property was invented and government quickly found a way to tax it. view article arw

Following a few weeks of discussion and a single public hearing, early voting is now underway here for a tax ratification election to help fund an across-the-board staff compensation plan as well as facility and classroom upgrades. Mercedes ISD officials have called a tax ratification election for Saturday, July 29, in which voters will consider moving 13 cents from the school district’s interest and sinking fund to maintenance and operations — otherwise referred to as the I&S and M&O. If approved, the measure would generate $4 million without raising taxes, according to an online notice posted on the misdtx.net homepage. view article arw

Troup:  TISD calls election

July 1408:28 AM
 

As much as they wish they didn’t have to, Troup ISD Board of Trustees has called a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to ask its voters for a 13 cent tax increase per $100 evaluation. The election is set for Aug. 26 with early voting beginning on Aug. 9.  The state of Texas has eliminated Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR) funding for all school districts in Texas. This move by the state will result in a $770,000 loss in funding for Troup ISD. The only way to replace that loss is to increase the Maintenance and Operations tax rate from $1.04 to $1.17 which is an increase of 13 cents.  “This isn’t something we want to do. I’m sorry that we are having to do this,” Superintendent Stuart Bird said. “I don’t see that there is a choice.” view article arw

Springtown voters will have the chance to increase their school district’s revenue by an estimated $1.9 million per year, while decreasing the tax rate, according to Springtown Independent School District trustees and superintendent Mike Kelley, who ratified an order calling for an August 26th Tax Ratification Election (TRE) Monday.  Under the TRE, the cumulative total tax rate would be $1.389 per $100 valuation, a four cent decrease from the current $1.429 per $100.  Two rates determine a district’s total tax rate; the M&O (Maintenance and Operations) rate and the I&S (Interest and Sinking) rate. view article arw

At risk of losing about $500,000 in state funding, the Smithville school district appealed a finding by the state comptroller’s office stating the district’s property valuations were too low from where the state thinks the valuations should be based on sales data. After an informal hearing, the Smithville school district valuations for 2017 were still $4.59 million too low. The district now faces the possibility of losing $498,158 in state funding, officials said. view article arw

Early voting started Wednesday for residents of the Mercedes Independent School District.  The tax ratification election would shift 13 cents of the school district property tax rate from what's called the "interest and sinking" fund to what's called the "maintenance and operations" fund.  Property owners would pay the same tax rate as last year, but the school district would shift 13 cents of the $1.17 per $100 of taxable assessed valuation it collects from one fund to another. view article arw

Early voting will begin Aug. 9 and end Aug. 22 in Quinlan Independent School District’s “penny swap” election. The Quinlan Independent School District School Board called an election for Aug. that would provide an extra $1 million in state funding every year without a tax rate increase, if voters approve.  School officials have stressed the board does not control property valuation, and if taxes increased, it would be because of increased valuation, which is set by county appraisal districts.  The way state funding is set up, the district would receive an additional $1 million each year from the state if it moved 13 cents from one fund to another, and that requires an election. view article arw

As residents of unincorporated Harris County, Spring and Klein homeowners do not pay taxes to a local municipality. However, taxes are levied by numerous entities, including school districts, a hospital district and the county. view article arw

When students head back to the classroom in the fall, Port Arthur ISD is hoping more funding will be available for their education. The school district is holding a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) on August 5th, and tonight district leaders discussed with residents where that money would be spent. This tax rate was already voted on by the board of trustees back in June. According to Port Arthur ISD officials the rate will be a thirteen cent increase from the standard $1.04 per $100 evaluation. So $1.17 per $100. view article arw

The Spring and Klein ISD budgets for the 2017-18 school year incorporate costs associated with new bus routes and staff in SISD as well as the opening of Klein Cain High School in KISD, district officials said. The SISD board of trustees adopted a $389 million budget for the 2017-18 year on June 13. The adopted budget includes a 4-cent tax rate increase, which will bring the district tax rate to $1.51 per $100 of assessed property value if the board adopts that tax rate. view article arw

About 73% blame high property taxes on state, not the Austin district, for not adequately funding public ed.  This school year, the annual Austin school district’s recapture payment is estimated to be $533 million.  Nearly 3 in 4 of Austin voters blame the state, and not the school district, for driving up their property taxes, according to a poll commissioned by a political action committee pushing for a November school bond. view article arw

The Port Arthur Independent School District will hold a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) in August to decide whether or not to adopt a new Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate.  During the June meeting of the PAISD board, the trustees adopted a M&O tax rate of $1.17, which was 13 cents higher than the current rate of $1.04. The new rate exceeds the maximum rate the board can pass without voter approval so, by law, an election must be held giving voters the final say. view article arw

Texans fought for independence against Mexico in part because of property taxes. The battle has waged on ever since. The latest skirmish is over Senate Bill 2, which now goes before a 30-day special session of the 85th Texas Legislature. Alas, this fatally flawed bill won't settle the question either. view article arw

About 73% blame high property taxes on state, not the Austin district, for not adequately funding public ed.  This school year, the annual Austin school district’s recapture payment is estimated to be $533 million.  Nearly 3 in 4 of Austin voters blame the state, and not the school district, for driving up their property taxes, according to a poll commissioned by a political action committee pushing for a November school bond. view article arw

Texas legislators will soon convene in special session to tackle “property-tax reform,” just as local taxing districts across the state begin their budget work to determine how much Texans will pay in taxes for next year. Ironically, while the Texas Legislature imposes a number of taxes, the property tax isn’t one of them — that falls to a multitude of local governments including school districts, cities, counties and a plethora of special districts (junior colleges, hospitals, roads and water and wastewater districts). However, the Legislature can have a tremendous impact on your tax bill because it writes the laws that control how local entities set their property taxes. view article arw

The Leverett's Chapel ISD Board of Trustees will meet Monday to discuss a locally-developed teacher evaluation and to appoint an officer to calculate and publish the tax rate.  Trustees will also discuss personnel and hear an update on the wastewater facility. view article arw

SB2 did not include school taxes,  The Legislature is preparing to return to Austin for the 85th Special Session that will begin July 18.  Gov. Greg Abbott has named his priorities for the session, one of these issues on the call is "property tax relief." During the 85th Regular Session, the Senate offered Senate Bill 2, which would make it easier for property owners to protest big tax increases from cities, counties and special taxing districts. The House countered with a version of their own. Neither passed. view article arw

Aransas County ISD will start the upcoming school year short 12 teachers, three auxiliary positions, and lacking an athletic trainer and librarian, among other cutbacks. Other districts throughout the state will close after a funding stream — established by the Texas Legislature to provide equity for school districts affected by the state’s largest property tax reduction — lapses Sept. 1. The Legislature compressed tax rates by a third in 2006 by requiring school districts to reduce their property taxes by as much.In turn, the state established a state aid program to make up for the imposed reduction to local revenue. The creation of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction, or ASATR funding, was meant to ensure students in Texas public school districts would not receive less funding than they did before the tax cut in 2006. view article arw

Troup:  TISD eyes election

June 2908:37 AM
 

Serious business will be on the table for consideration by the Troup ISD Board of Trustees on Monday, July 10. A public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. where trustees and attendees will hear a presentation and discussion of the upcoming school year’s tax rate. The regular board meeting will follow where trustees will take on the task of circling the wagons and working together with the community to ensure adequate funding for Troup’s schools that the Texas Legislature failed to do this year. view article arw