Midland ISD could receive a couple of extra pennies -- two “golden pennies.”  These golden pennies represent a two-cent increase in the district’s maintenance and operations rate. These pennies are described by those in the education business as “golden” because that revenue is not “recapturable.” In other words, the state of Texas cannot take its cut from Chapter 41 or “property rich” schools. Midland ISD is a property-rich school. Its recapture payment this past school year was $48.3 million. That is money from Midland taxpayers that went to other school districts.  These two “golden pennies” would mean an extra $6 million for district operations. view article arw

The Brownsville Independent School District's school board on Monday approved a property tax increase of 11 cents. Past mistakes made by previous school boards put the district in a bind to request more money at the expense of Brownsville residents. "If we think about what Brownsville should have done in the last 15 years-- should've increased the tax a cent each year,” said Brownsville ISD Superintendent Dr. Esperanza Zendejas. “We would have been where we needed to be at." view article arw

Marble Falls Independent School District trustees approved a $41.8 million balanced general fund budget for fiscal year 2017-18 during their regular board meeting Monday night after holding a public hearing. The new budget includes a three percent payroll increase for all staff with additional market adjustments plus an additional $25 per month in health insurance premium benefit for all employees. The budget assumes a total tax rate of $1.2786, which includes $1.0533 per $100 valuation for maintenance and operations and 22.53 cents for interest and sinking. It represents a slight decrease from the 2016-17 tax rate of $1.28 per $100 valuation. The tax rate will not be approved until the August board meeting, after the district receives the final certified values from the Burnet Central Appraisal District on July 25. view article arw

The Texas City Independent School District is in deep trouble from the Valero Corp. tax lawsuit and will lose $8 million from the decision. And the legislature has ended the special funding Texas City has been receiving for the Tax Reduction program. It is hard to see how they can educate all their students with those losses. view article arw

Brownsville Independent School District trustees on Monday approved a property tax rate of $1.265 per $100 of taxable value for the 2017-2018 school year, an increase of 11¼ cents per $100 over the current budget that amounts to an increase of about $84 a year on $100,000 of the taxable value of a home in the district.Trustees approved the increase to fund education, facilities and maintenance projects over the next five years totaling an estimated $100 million. These include expansion of the district’s pre-kindergarten program, Phase I of a new performing arts center, a new gymnasium at HannaEarlyCollegeHigh School, handicapped access at Sams Memorial Stadium, school renovation projects and roofing replacement, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting upgrades across the district. view article arw

To successfully pull off their stunts and tricks before audiences, great magicians employ the art of misdirection. The same is true for some politicians, such as Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has crafted a clever misdirection in the form of Senate Bill 2.  Patrick, a Houston Republican, claims the measure “would bring about the largest property tax reform in history,” and in so doing deliver massive tax cuts to homeowners.  But like all magic, it is an illusion that is quickly exposed by reality: Significant tax cuts for homeowners cannot be achieved without dealing with the largest, fiercest, most expensive and burdening tax on homeowners’ backs – the local school district property tax. That is no illusion. view article arw

The Lockhart Independent School District will hold a public meeting Monday to talk about its budget and proposed tax hike. view article arw

It was sad to see Frisco ISD vote to start charging students to participate in middle- and high-school sports.  What a shame to have the district's funding shortfall land so squarely on the back of parents and students. Participation in sports has a real value in the public school experience. Students benefit from the hard work, confidence building and sense of belonging. Schools should do nothing to discourage that.  The maintenance and operations part of Frisco ISD's tax rate for the 2016-17 school year was lower, at $1.04 per $100 valuation, than surrounding districts. Allen and Celina were at $1.14. Plano, McKinney, Lovejoy, Melissa and Prosper were each at $1.17 per $100 valuation. view article arw

Cheniere Energy is asking Gregory-Portland ISD for a tax incentive to help support the expansion of its still unfinished $11 billion liquefied natural gas plant. The Houston-based company formally applied to Gregory-Portland ISD to negotiate Chapter 313 agreements in late March. An overview of its application was presented to the school board on Tuesday. view article arw

Cheniere Energy is asking Gregory-Portland ISD for a tax incentive to help support the expansion of its still unfinished $11 billion liquefied natural gas plant. The Houston-based company formally applied to Gregory-Portland ISD to negotiate Chapter 313 agreements in late March. An overview of its application was presented to the school board on Tuesday. view article arw

At Tuesday night’s Lake Travis ISD board of trustees meeting, the board called for a November bond election, reviewed the timeline for a tax ratification election and met the new principal of Bee Cave Elementary School. view article arw

Trustees of the McAllen Independent School District voted Monday to maintain its tax rate of $1.155 and use a state break that will allow them to leverage about $7 million extra for maintenance and operations. All of the tax revenue will be going into Maintenance and Operations, or M&O, for the second consecutive year due to the 2015 severe storms which were declared natural disasters. view article arw

Rudder High School is one step closer to becoming home to the Bryan school district's first barbershop class along with expanded agricultural facilities.  The school board approved hiring a contractor to take on its $3.3 million plan to expand career and technical education space at the school during its meeting Monday. The approval was one of few actions from a meeting that largely took place behind closed doors view article arw

On Tuesday, the Spring ISD board of trustees approved its 2017-18 budget, which includes a 3 percent pay increase for district employees and funds for an additional 83 new employees. It results in a 4-cent tax rate increase, bumping the current rate ($1.47) to $1.51 per $100 valuation. view article arw

The Friendswood ISD School Board voted unanimously on June 12 to discontinue charging a collection fee for taxes paid by a local drainage district.  As of June 15, Galveston County Consolidated Drainage District will no longer be required to pay the collection fee for the taxes it pays on its land in the school district.  “We are charging them a fee that is outdated,” said Trish Hanks, FISD superintendent at the time the decision was made. The June meeting was last before retiring from the superintendent position; she will be replaced by Thad Roher. view article arw

AA News home sale prices in the Hardin-Jefferson ISD are increasing. Jessica Crawford reports as market value increases how one city is working to maintain growth without losing that home-town atmosphere. view article arw

We now know with certainty that our state legislators, the president and the education secretary don't care to give public schools additional funding that would allow school districts like Dallas ISD to provide an equitable and excellent education to all of our children. It's time for Dallas ISD to find its own funding, and for trustees to consider a 13-cent tax ratification election, and not a tax swap or anything less. view article arw

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Plano ISD school board reluctantly approved the recommended $1.439 tax rate for the 2017-18 proposed budget. Chief Financial Officer Steve Fortenberry submitted the proposed $641.3 million budget, which has increased since 2016-17. Every PISD budget conversation eventually becomes a conversation on recapture, and Tuesday night’s meeting was no different. Recapture or Robin Hood are tax dollars taken from affluent school districts and submitted to the state to be distributed to low-income districts in need. According to Fortenberry, recapture accounts for 23.5 percent of the district’s budget, and an estimated $46 million. Fortenberry suggested the board adopt the same $1.439 tax rate as last year, however, residents will likely pay more money this year than last year view article arw

In the wake of a City Council election, Denton voters will see another measure on the ballot come September. After unanimously passing the district tax rate ordinance in its Tuesday night meeting, the Denton ISD school board called a tax ratification election for what's known as a "tax swap."   Voters are being 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. view article arw

Brownsville Independent School District trustees on Tuesday agreed to move forward on an administration recommendation to raise the district’s tax rate by 11 1/4 cents per $100 valuation. At a special-called board meeting to discuss financing options for proposed future education, facilities and maintenance projects, the trustees chose to bump up the tax rate rather than seek voter approval for issuing bonds. view article arw

The tax rate might be dropping soon. Today, the Raymondville school board will a public hearing into the district’s proposal to cut the property tax rate from $1.32 to $1.31 per valuation. view article arw

In the midsummer special session, Texas lawmakers will be talking about your rising property taxes again. Don't get excited: That does not mean your tax bill is going to get any smaller. State officials are talking once again about your property taxes. Like you, they hate those taxes. A lot.  But they’re hoping to fool you, once again, into thinking they are going to lower the price of local government and public education.  None of their proposals or their recent actions would do that. view article arw

As Commissioners Court focuses on trimming $13 million from Montgomery County's fiscal year 2017-18 budget – even discussing 5 percent across-the-board cuts – one county entity wants to grow its expenditures by 17 percent. The Montgomery Central Appraisal District is budgeting for a $2 million spending increase, growing from around $11 million to $13 million. Of MCAD's 34 line items on its preliminary budget, 15 of them would grow in cost. view article arw

During a special meeting on Monday, the Frisco ISD board of trustees adopted the 2017-18 combined tax rate of $1.46 per $100 valuation, which has not changed since 2012. Although there was no change to the tax rate, district residents would be paying up to 8.3 percent more in taxes as a result of rising property values, FISD Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Pickens said. view article arw

When Olga Clark received the slip in the mail weeks ago from the Travis Central Appraisal District telling her that the appraised value of the Pflugerville home she just bought had gone up, she was shocked.  Last year, the Travis Central Appraisal District valued the home at $168,794. This year, it was appraised at $207,459. Clark had bought the home in November for about $189,000. “I’ve been living here for six months, and they raised my (taxable value) more than 20 percent,” the 64-year-old hospital worker said. “It’s ridiculous.” view article arw

A total of 1,307 votes were cast for the proposed increase while 956 votes were against.  Now that it has been approved, the EPISD Ad Valorem Tax rate will go from the 2016 Current Tax Rate of $1.15543 to $1.18043 per every $100 valuation. The EPISD has stated that under this increase the estimated local tax revenue generated would be $411,232, but that it would also generate a contribution from the state of $5,725,862 for a total of $6,137,094 in funds for the 2017-2018 school year. view article arw

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