Moody Independent School District officials are holding talks about a possible tax ratification election that could bring in a competitive increase to teacher salaries, more career and technology education opportunities, improved technology across the district and school buses. view article arw

Rising property taxes are a legitimate political issue, driven by what elected officials and aspiring officeholders hear from their angry constituents. Local governments are on the other side of this, however, hearing from those same voters  about deficiencies in schools and roads, crime protection and whatnot.  Reduced to its essence, the state is arguing about price. The locals are arguing about product. Prices — property taxes are the bane of the moment — are rising too quickly, the state contends, with voters cheering in the background. Those same voters, the local officials argue, are making demands for roads, hospitals, schools, police and other government services. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott's proposal to cap property tax revenue at 2.5 percent for school districts, cities and counties has a basic premise: "Provide one simple method by which taxpayers are protected from excessive increases in their tax burden." But the method for funding Texas school districts is anything but simple. Districts go through a multitude of calculations to determine how much money they receive and, in some cases, how much they'll have to pay out. Plano ISD trustees, for example, got an early look at next year's budget numbers on the same day  Abbott released his tax relief proposal.  School board president Missy Bender said by email that it's too early to know how the governor's plan would affect the district of approximately 54,000 students. But for years, property-rich Plano ISD has been sending some of its tax revenue to the state to be redistributed to poorer districts.  view article arw

If Gov. Greg Abbott is serious about lowering property taxes for Texans, he will need to do better than the latest plan he has offered. This plan takes bad ideas from the last legislative session and amplifies them. It targets cities and counties, and fails to adequately address school finance. We can’t state this clearly enough: Surging property taxes are directly linked to school finance. view article arw

Howls came quickly after Gov. Greg Abbott proposed lowering the lid to 2.5 percent on how much local governments could raise property taxes in a year without triggering a voter referendum. Abbott's proposal earlier this month would require two-thirds of those voting to approve before the 2.5 percent lid could be exceeded.  In the regular and special legislative sessions last year, Republicans Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had backed unsuccessful efforts for a lid of 4 percent.  The current law sets the increase at 8 percent before voters can petition for a rollback election.  Abbott's latest proposal, and the one last year, made a rollback election automatic if the lid is exceeded. view article arw

Georgia has reportedly offered $1 billion worth of incentives. In Philadelphia, it’s more than $2 billion; in Maryland, $5 billion; and, from high-rolling New Jersey, a whopping $7 billion. But in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said this week, “We will not give away the farm.” view article arw

As officials assign new property values for the more than 2 million parcels located in Harris and Fort Bend counties, the damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in August looms large. It has been estimated that 59,476 homes in Harris, Fort Bend and Waller counties were damaged by Harvey—the city of Katy alone counted 629 homes—which will result in lower values assigned to many of those properties as of Jan. 1. view article arw

The final items on Monday night's Dayton City Council meeting included the call for two elections: the general election for three council spots and a special election for the petitioned tax rollback. The three open city council seats include Position No. 1 Josh Townsend, Position No. 2 Sherial L. Lawson, and Position No. 3 Alvin Burress. Burress is filling out the term of former councilman Dwight Pruitt who resigned mid-term to take on more responsibilities at his church. view article arw

From improving technology so the school district here can be a part of a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative to a pay increase for teachers, Moody Independent School District has a number of goals it wants to accomplish. But there’s a problem: Money. Superintendent Gary Martell explained to a group of 30 Moody residents gathered at the high school Tuesday evening that the district is considering holding a tax ratification election to change the two rates that form its property tax rate. view article arw

The Katy ISD board of trustees approved its consent agenda in full at Monday’s meeting and discussed several other topics. Read highlights from the night’s deliberations: view article arw

Here in Abilene, and across the state of Texas, homeowners and businesses are being crushed by property taxes. Over the past 20 years, property tax collections in Texas have increased by 195 percent. Rising property taxes are undermining private property rights and placing a costly burden on the people of Texas. Seniors face the threat of being taxed out of the homes they have lived in for decades, younger generations are being priced out of the market for their first home, and business owners are unable to grow their businesses because of higher property taxes. 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