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

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