While Congress finishes tweaking its federal tax-cut bill, it’s useful to remember that a significant 44 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax in the first place. And here in Texas the real sore point continues to be property taxes. Cities and counties this year only narrowly avoided seeing tighter percentage caps placed on how much property-tax revenue they can garner from one year to the next. So consider this news flash, largely overlooked amid other spectacles: During this year’s special legislative session, the Texas House Ways and Means Committee began throwing around proposals to scrap the biggest portion of your property tax bill: that devoted to the maintenance and operation of public schools. One proposal would even junk school property taxes without anything to replace an estimated $23.3 billion in 2021 and $24.6 billion in fiscal year 2022. view article arw

Humble ISD’s board of trustees approved several measures at its board meeting Dec. 12. 1. After thousands of structures in the Lake Houston area were damaged after Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 30 inches of rain on the area, Humble ISD has agreed to allow reappraisals for home and business owners. The district unanimously passed a resolution allowing home and business owners to seek a reappraisal for their 2017 taxes. view article arw

Kilgore ISD may refund millions

December 1106:12 AM
 

Kilgore ISD is mulling whether to appeal a ruling that might force the district to refund as much as $4.3 million to homeowners who paid the full tax bill on primary residences in 2015.  The lawsuit stems from a June 2015 vote by Kilgore ISD trustees to repeal the district's local optional homestead exemption.  One big question for an attorney representing the school district is whether the ruling by Court at Law No. 2 Judge Vincent Dulweber applies to only the three plaintiffs or to all homeowners in the district who qualify for the optional homestead exemption. view article arw

The House and Senate are working to reconcile their versions of a tax plan, but one thing is certain: Big changes are ahead for the nation's schools and colleges. view article arw

This will definately have an impact on tax districts and there are pics. .- js More than 1,600 Houston property owners who flooded during Hurricane Harvey likely will be forced to elevate their homes if they want to continue living there. The city's Public Works Department is preparing to notify property owners in floodplains that their structures have been declared "substantially damaged" and will require additional repairs to comply with current building codes. For most, that will mean physically raising their homes, a pricey upgrade that can cost well more than $150,000. view article arw

This is a big deal. - js - If a merger goes through, the future of Goliad County's largest taxpayer, a coal-fired plant, looks bleak.In the spring, Dynegy plans to merge with Vistra after owning the Coleto Creek Power Plant for less than a year.  While neither company will speculate about the future of the plant, which employs 75 people, Vistra has a history of divesting itself of coal plants.  Vistra, based in Irving, is the parent company of TXU Energy and Luminant.  It recently decided to close three of its coal-fired plants in northeast and east Texas by next year. view article arw

One of the final amendments to the Senate tax bill was the Student Opportunity Amendment introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Along with a similar provision in the House tax bill, the Student Opportunity Amendment could become the first law passed by this Congress to subsidize students attending private K-12 schools. But exactly whom this benefits remains in doubt.  School choice advocates often use the language of equity, arguing that private school choice programs merely offer low-income families the options that wealthier families take for granted. view article arw

Graduate students are used to sleepless nights. But they typically have school work to blame, not major legislative actions that threaten to undermine their financial future.  A provision in the House version of the Republican-backed tax reform bill working its way through Congress would greatly increase the amount of taxes graduate students owe the IRS. Also at risk: thousands of U.S. universities with budgets — a major research projects — that depend on healthy graduate-student enrollments. view article arw

The reappraisal of properties damaged during Hurricane Harvey was approved by the Magnolia ISD board of trustees during a Nov. 13 meeting. This move could provide some relief to homeowners who saw significant damage to their homes, as the tax bills are adjusted based on a possible lower appraised value, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Erich Morris said.  “We’re very lucky that a minimal number of properties have been affected within our district, but we do feel like it’s the right thing,” he said. view article arw

Texas school districts in the 60-county path of Hurricane Harvey must submit tax collection projections for 2017 to find out how much it will impact education funding. Why should North Texans care?  Less property tax dollars means less money in the Texas’ school funding pool. view article arw

QISD receives ‘Superior’ rating on financial integrity. The Quinlan Independent School District School Board opposed the purchase and remodeling of a former Greenville church for use as new offices for the Hunt County Appraisal District (HCAD) Monday night at its regular monthly meeting. The school board voted to act on the proposal and unanimously opposed. 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

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. The proposed 13-cent tax hike would have given the district $100 million to fund early childhood education and early college high school programs. The district also wanted to expand a program that pays extra money to top teachers who take jobs in some of the district’s toughest schools. view article arw

Trustees of the Wylie Independent School District proposed a tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of property value for the 2016-17 fiscal year — a tax cut of 2.4 cents — and added more money to the proposed budget for teachers' salaries during Monday's regular board meeting. Trustees conducted their third of three workshops for the 2016-17 budget of $32.340 million and set a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m. to receive comments from the public on the budget and tax rate and then consider approval. view article arw

Kilgore ISD tax rate in the air

June 2407:38 AM
 

School trustees in Kilgore began their budget-writing season Monday with an overview of what is and isn’t known about financing the 2014-15 school year. view article arw