The Spring ISD board of trustees voted unanimously on Tuesday to raise its tax rate by four cents to repay debt obligations brought on by its 2016 school bond of $330 million. The tax rate for 2017 will be $1.51 per $100 of assessed home value to help fund the debt obligations for the district's 2016 bond. The new tax rate goes into effect Jan. 1. Of the total $330 million which the district was authorized to use, $225 million have been issued since February, said Spring ISD chief financial officer Ann Westbrooks. view article arw

Following in the recent footsteps of Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD will hold a Tax Ratification Election during the upcoming November election. Just like with Lubbock ISD’s recent election, Frenship ISD is seeking voter approval to keep their overall property tax rate the same, but shift the allocation of the property tax revenue. Frenship ISD wants to move two cents of property tax revenue from Debt Service ($0.45 to $0.43) to Maintenance & Operations ($1.04 to $1.06), keeping the overall property tax rate at $1.49 per $100 valuation.  view article arw

The Texas Progressive Alliance supports Rep. Al Green as it brings you this week’s roundup. Off the Kuff says that if giving a tax break to homeowners affected by natural disasters is a priority, the state should cover the cost of that tax break to counties and school districts. SocraticGadfly looks at a couple of recent pieces by a business columnist at the Chronic, and wonders how many of them apply there and if that will ever be asked? view article arw

The Montgomery ISD board of trustees met Tuesday evening to discuss and deliberate on various agenda items. Here’s what took place at the Oct. 17 monthly meeting: view article arw

The development of wind energy resources in Briscoe County has proven to be a mixed blessing for Silverton ISD which, because of increasing property values, is being required to hold an election to determine voter preferences on methods to pursue to equalize its level of wealth as required by Chapter 41.  That election is set for Nov. 7. Early voting will be held weekdays Oct. 23 through Nov. 3 at the Briscoe County Clerk’s Office in Silverton.  According to a public notice from Silverton ISD published Oct. 5 in the Caprock Courier, during the 2017-18 school year, Silverton ISD is expected to collect more local taxes in relation to its students (the “wealth-per-student”) than what the state permits. As a result, the district is classified as a property-wealthy school district under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code. view article arw

Spring ISD approved its 2017 tax rate of $1.51 per $100 valuation at its regular meeting Tuesday night. SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks said the increase is needed to fund the increased debt obligations associated with the 2016 bond election, which authorized the district to issue $330 million in bonds. A total of $225 million has been issued so far, she said. view article arw

STAMFORD — With the regular and special legislative sessions behind them, area legislators are embarking on the next season — campaign season.  Filing for the March 6 Republican and Democratic primaries begins in less than a month, on Nov. 11, just days after the Nov. 7 election to vote on constitutional amendments proposed by legislators earlier this year. view article arw

New Diana ISD has set a town hall meeting Tuesday to discuss a proposed $5.5 million bond measure and a separate 7-cent tax ratification election that will be on the November ballot. The town hall is scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the main cafeteria. view article arw

Titus County began living with the pain of losing Luminant's Monticello Power Plant for years before the company officially announced it would close the facility.  Luminant's parent company, Vistra, announced recently that the facility near Mount Pleasant would cease operations in January. The move means about 200 employees will lose their jobs, although some people will continue working there while the plant is dismantled. view article arw

SPRING BRANCH ISD – In a unanimous vote held Oct. 11 at a meeting specially called to consider reappraisals, the Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees authorized the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) to reappraise properties inside the school district that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey.  “Over and over, our board members stated their beliefs that this was the right thing to do for our community. It reflects our SBISD core values of a Moral Compass, Collaborative Spirit and Collective Greatness,” SBISD Board of Trustees President Karen Peck said. view article arw

Few turned up to polls in Bryan on Tuesday, but those who did overwhelmingly approved a new property tax rate.  The new property tax — which will be $1.34 per $100 valuation, 1 cent lower than the tax rate last year — was approved 1,141 to 110 and authorizes Bryan schools to complete a complicated tax maneuver.  view article arw

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Not many people turned out to vote in Bryan on Tuesday, but those that did, voted in support of raising a portion of school district tax rate.  The tax ratification election was held in an effort to lower the portion of the tax rate that goes toward paying off debt, in exchange for raising the portion that goes toward day to day operations or Maintenance and Operations. Superintendent Christie Whitbeck says the tricky tax maneuver in this case paid off. view article arw

Recovery from Hurricane Harvey will cost the state about $2 billion during the current two-year budget cycle, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Tuesday.  Hegar told the American-Statesman that the state’s Harvey tab, much of which is related to school spending, will be “vastly greater than any other storm that we’ve ever seen in the state of Texas.” view article arw

Today is the final day to vote for the Bryan ISD Tax Ratification Election. Bryan ISD’s property tax rate is made up of two sides—Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). According to BISD, M&O pays for teacher salaries, equipment, transportation, and other daily costs. view article arw

It's election day in Bryan. Voters will decide whether to approve a tax maneuver that would lower property taxes in the Bryan school district by 1 cent and bring in an additional $4 million in state funding.  Bryan property owners pay $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

North Hopkins TRE Ratified

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North Hopkins TRE ratified on 10/6 with 77% approval: 77 for 25 against.  read more arw

Like probably just about every public school district in the country, Bryan schools need more money. Without enough money, programs will have to be cut, teachers won't get pay raises they need, maintenance won't get done, new school buses won't be purchased. What if the Bryan school district could get some $4.4 million more this year, two-thirds of it from the state -- while at the same time lowering property taxes by a penny? So school district property owners will be able to save a bit and at the same time bring in those badly needed funds. That's the opportunity Bryan district voters have Tuesday if they approve the Tax Ratification Election. We believe in public education and urge voters to pass this critical election. view article arw

Student population is on the rise at Midland ISD, and the district appears to be putting the pieces together on plans to handle that growth. Superintendent Orlando Riddick hasn’t been shy in his comments to the Reporter-Telegram or to local groups about the district needing to come before the community to ask for its support for those efforts. While a bond hasn’t been mentioned specifically, one doesn’t have to work hard to read between the lines. A report expected to be presented at the school board meeting on Monday concerning student population trends will serve as fodder about what is needed.  view article arw

North Hopkins Election is Friday

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The regular election day for a tax ratification election in the North Hopkins ISD is Friday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. with voting in the North Hopkins ISD Admin Building Board Room. School Superintendent Darin Jolly says voters will really be approving a swap. 13-cents will be added to the district’s Maintenance and Operation raising its’ rate from $1.04 to $1.17 per $100 valuation. The Interest and Sinking Fund rate would decrease from 21.5-cents to 8.5-cents per $100 valuation. view article arw

People whose homes and businesses were damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey could receive some tax relief from the Katy Independent School District. On Friday, the Katy ISD trustees voted unanimously to authorize the reappraisal of taxes on property within the school district boundaries. Under the law, owners must continue to pay the taxes on the full value of the property - even if it has been damaged or destroyed. Only a taxing entity - such as Katy ISD - can request the reappraisal of property after the county has already completed its annual appraisal process. view article arw

Willis ISD is leaning towards offering a helping hand to property owners who suffered damage during Harvey's downpour, according to Superintendent Tim Harkrider. While Harkrider is uncertain of the exact number of homes that were damaged in the District, which did not experience the extent of severe flooding seen in some of the southern areas of Montgomery County, he said there may have been homes affected in the western part of the District near Lake Conroe and on the eastern side of the district. view article arw

Eanes school district Superintendent Tom Leonard has spent a lot of time explaining the upcoming tax ratification election on Nov. 7. By his own count, before the election rolls around, Leonard will have made over 20 presentations at each of the district’s schools and to community organizations.  “I’m going where they’ll let me go … I’m doing these in my sleep,” Leonard said.  On Sept. 21, he narrated slides at Hill Country Middle School’s library, but most of the audience members were district officials, trustees and a member of the Bond Oversight Committee. Only one or two community members were spotted, but Leonard isn’t worried. view article arw

It's was a much different scene at the Conroe Independent School District board workshop Tuesday night as members took time to listen to reappraisal information regarding Hurricane Harvey-damaged homes after a majority of directors refused to discuss the item Sept. 19. Montgomery County Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae along with Montgomery Central Appraisal District Chief Appraiser Tony Belinoski provided information on the current reappraisal of storm-damaged homes in the county. According to Section 23.02 of the Tax Code, "the governing body of a taxing unit that is located partly or entirely inside an area declared to be a disaster area by the governor may authorize reappraisal of all property damaged in the disaster at its market value immediately after the disaster." view article arw

 San Angelo City Council members on Tuesday are poised to nominate the same five appraisal board members who were partially responsible for skyrocketing property appraisals in Tom Green County this year.  According to the agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting, “Appraisal district board members serve 2-year terms. The current terms of the five board members expire on December 31, 2017. The Council may nominate one candidate for each of the five positions. Per Mr. Benson, TGC Appraisal District Chief Appraiser, all five of the current Directors have expressed their willingness to serve another term if elected. Current members of the Board of Directors are: John Begnaud, John Conn, Russell DeVore, Louis Gomez, and Bob Reeves.” view article arw

A week into early voting, less than half of 1 percent of Bryan voters have weighed in on the school district's proposal to lower the rate of taxes by 1 cent.  The election will decide how much the Bryan property tax rate is lowered this year, and the school distinct could generate an addition $4.4 million it says badly is needed.  The election is being held separately from the Nov. 7 election to give the Brazos County Tax Office time to prepare statements that reflect the election's outcome.  view article arw

Bryan ISD board of trustees vice president Mark McCall visits with Scott Delucia about the BISD board special election on WTAW’s The Infomaniacs on October 2, 2017. view article arw

To sit silently by and allow others to disparage and report untruths makes one complicit in the untruth being told. These are words that continued to resonate with me after the meeting on Friday morning, Sept. 29, with Collin Sewell, Lorraine Perryman, Nelson Minyard and Doyle Woodall. The Board members had been asked to meet with Sewell and Perryman to participate in “an urgent conversation we need to have with you”. The meeting was held at 9:00 am in Mr. Sewell’s office. Mr. Sewell was more than cordial as he explained that he and the PAC had been told inaccurate information regarding the upcoming Bond Election and Tax Ratification Election. Sewell then proceeded to tell us that that the PAC he established, 4 Kids’ Future, would no longer support the Bond Election or the TRE. view article arw

Port Neches-Groves Independent School District has found a way to deal with a loss in revenues and a deficit budget without raising the tax rate of $1.44 per $100 valuation. view article arw

Speakers from Quinlan Independent School District described programs and activities offered to the community at Thursday’s monthly membership luncheon of the Lake Tawakoni Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Supt. Dr. Debra Crosby began the presentation by saying, “I want to thank everyone who got out and voted for the TRE (Tax Ratification Election.) You gave our school district over a million dollars. Thank you very much.”  The election, also known as a tax swap, is expected to provide in excess of a million dollars more annually in state funds to the district. The result was landslide approval by a vote of 234 for the measure and 13 against, or by percentage, 94.74 percent for and 5.26 percent against. view article arw

Early voting for the Bryan ISD Tax Ratification Election is underway for a few more days. Bryan ISD’s property tax rate is made up of two sides—Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). According to BISD, M&O pays for teacher salaries, equipment, transportation, and other daily costs. view article arw

Brutal honesty, integrity and truth were on display in huge doses this past Friday, compliments of the 4 Kids’ Future political action committee. The group that was the driving force behind the proposed Ector County School District bond issue and associated Tax Ratification Election (TRE) shocked the community, when it called a news conference to announce it was pulling support for the measures. Perhaps shocking is an understatement. The PAC had mobilized an enthusiastic following and had been working tirelessly to promote the proposals. Many of the PAC’s members had participated in the Bond Advisory Committee, a broad-based group of volunteers that spent months researching the whole idea and made its recommendations to the school district, whose board of trustees voted to call the election. view article arw

In reaction to a decline in revenue, the Glen Rose Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve a 2 cent increase in the property tax rate, making it .994 per $100 valuation.  Superintendent Wayne Rotan explained that the rise will increase the tax obligation of the average home by approximately $28 per year.  The state ranks the GRISD as one of the top property-rich “Chapter 41” districts in Texas. As a result, Glen Rose annually must send large sums of money to Austin under the recapture rule — often referred to as Robin Hood — to help fund “property-poor” school districts across the state. view article arw

Elderly Texans living in nursing homes and other residential care facilities will test a new system of voting during the state’s constitutional election in November. But the law triggering that new system will vanish from the books shortly after voting wraps up — because the Legislature passed a bill that may have needed an extra round of proofreading. view article arw

Pasadena ISD officials say a property tax-rate increase proposed before Hurricane Harvey is even more important due to damage caused by the storm.  "We understand that these are difficult times for most, and unfortunately, the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey exposed an even greater need for additional funding," superintendent DeeAnn Powell said. "The storm's damage will only cause the district's already deficit budget to grow."  Trustees in August unanimously approved increasing the property tax rate by 13 cents to $1.48 per $100 of property valuation. The rate increase triggered a tax ratification election set to go before voters on Nov. 7. view article arw

Bryan ISD early voting has opened

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The polls are open this week early voting for Bryan ISD is under way. The lone item on the ballot, to raise taxes for school funding. Bryan ISD is asking voters to approve a tax rate increase opposed to a total tax rate decrease. view article arw