The oil and gas sector worldwide lost about $1 trillion in value during a 40-day period that began in early early October and culminated last week with a record 12th straight day of oil price declines — including the worst single-day drop in three years. Crude prices in New York commodity markets slid more that 25 percent during that period, from a recent peak above $76 a barrel to less than $56, and took oil and gas stock prices with them. Energy stocks included in the S&P 500 Index shed nearly $240 billion in value during those 40 days view article arw

For the first time in a long time, the Texas Legislature is given a good shot in the coming session of increasing funding for public education, which could lead to an end in the upward spiral of residential property taxes, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports. In the last three sessions, the Republican-dominated Legislature, trying to stress its conservative credentials, has cut state aid to education funding.  That achieves two GOP enable Republicans to claim to be 'holding the line' on higher education spending, and to enable more funding to be diverted to charter and private schools. But the result, according to Northside ISD Superintendent Brian Woods, has been to push that spending responsibility down to local property owners. view article arw

The Lone Star State produces more power from wind energy than any other state. Many school districts are offering tax incentives to lure renewable projects — and the big names behind them, such as Nike and Amazon. view article arw

Alvin ISD bond, TRE package approved

November 1408:30 AM

Voters in Alvin ISD again voiced their support for the school district by overwhelmingly approving a $480.5 million bond package and following that up by agreeing to a tax ratification election. With all the votes counted, the bond package received 21,934 votes in favor, or 68.48 percent, with 10,096 voters opposed, or 31.52 percent. The TRE, which will allow the district to raise the money without raising the tax rate, faced a tougher battle. But in the end, 16,885 voters cast ballots in favor with 14,922 voting against.  view article arw

The board room was full at CCISD headquarters Monday night as community members showed up to voice their opposition to the school district’s $210 million bond package passed by voters last week. Michael Miller is leading the charge and has created a petition for board members to re-evaluate the proposed location of a new Mary Carroll High School near the intersection of Saratoga Boulevard and Weber Road. “Do you think that building a school capable of holding 3,500-plus students and staff near a Naval aircraft crash zone is a responsible decision?,” Miller asked board members. view article arw

Operators of a northern Oklahoma wind farm are abandoning a creative tax avoidance scheme that was drawing statewide scrutiny because of its potentially damaging impact on Oklahoma school funding. view article arw

Voters on Tuesday approved an additional 13 cents on the maintenance and operations tax rate in Dallas ISD, placing it at $1.17 – the maximum allowed in Texas. The increase will lead to an additional $126 million paid out to the district over the next several years, which officials claim will be used for employee raises, to bolster the rainy day fund, and build specialty schools and specialty school programs. Specifically, the district is planning on increasing the budget for teacher and principal salaries from $27.8 million to $30.2 million in the next four years. view article arw

Voters Approve Dallas ISD School Bond

November 0807:45 AM

The four propositions that were on the ballot for Dallas ISD were approved by voters. Those will add an additional 13 cents to their maintenance and operations tax rate, placing it at the state maximum of $1.17.  view article arw

Voters in the Frisco Independent School District approved two measures on Election Day that will provide a major influx of cash for what has been consistently the fastest-growing school district in Texas over the past several years. Voters approved a $691 million construction bond, as well as a Tax Ratification Election (TRE). The bond money will fund major expenses, including four new schools, renovation to existing facilities, additional technology and security measures – including the installation of bullet-resistant glass on interior classroom windows – and it would also pay to resurface playgrounds at 42 schools with a rubber-like material. view article arw

Alvin ISD’s $480.5 million bond passed with 21,934 votes in support of it, winning 68.48 percent of the vote. The tax ratification election to fund the bond passed with 16,885 votes for it, winning 53.09 percent of the vote. view article arw

Voters in the El Paso Independent School District approved a tax shift that will not change the overall rate for residents. The EPISD tax ratification election, also known as a TRE or penny swap, passed with about 54 percent of voters supporting the measure. "We're very grateful to the community who supported our second TRE and our third election," said Melissa Martinez, spokeswoman for EPISD. "This shows that our community supports our schools, employees and initiatives and programming." view article arw

SAN ANGELO, TX — San Angelo ISD Superintendent of Schools promised Tuesday night that the district will take a hiatus from requesting voters approve another bond.  Two San Angelo ISD bond initiatives went down in defeat Tuesday night with over 55 and 57 percent of voters against them respectively. view article arw

With all precincts reporting, Frisco ISD’s tax ratification election has passed. About 59 percent of voters voted in favor of the measure, while about 41 percent voted against it. view article arw

Ector County voters give nod to TRE

November 0708:25 AM

Voters approved Ector County Independent School District’s tax ratification election Tuesday, according to unofficial figures from the Ector County Elections Office. The initiative passed by 61.06 percent to 38.94 percent, or 13,683 votes supporting the proposition to 8,726 votes against, unofficial results show. School district’s tax rates are made up of maintenance and operation rate and an interest and sinking, or debt service rate. Currently, that rate is $1.04 per $100 valuation for maintenance and operations and 11 cents per $100 for debt service for a total of $1.146603 per $100 valuation. view article arw

Frisco ISD’s $691 million bond package and tax ratification election passed with about 60 percent voter approval on both propositions, according to unofficial election results Nov. 6. The passage of the bond and the tax rate, FISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip said the district is ready to get started on the planned projects that the bond and tax revenue are expected to fund. view article arw

HENDERSON — The board of trustees for Henderson ISD considered an audit Thursday afternoon that will help the district recoup tax revenue it lost in a lawsuit.  Natural gas companies sued several taxing entities, including Henderson ISD, for tax revenue they received between 2012 and 2017. The Texas Supreme Court’s March 2 ruling changed the location of the entity collecting taxes from where a natural gas compressor is located to where the company’s home office is located, requiring local taxing entities to refund the tax money.  Trustees met for an update regarding the 2018-19 budget, which was led by Superintendent Keith Boles. view article arw

Three school districts are asking voters to approve tax plans to supplement their budgets. Dallas ISD and Richardson ISD are seeking tax increases while Frisco ISD is asking voters for a tax swap that would ultimately reduce the overall tax rate. This year marks the third time in three years that the Dallas superintendent has tried to get the measure on the ballot. Now that it's there, it's up to voters to decide if it's needed and if the district will be good stewards of an additional $126 million dollars a year. view article arw

I was 18 years old when I started working with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was so committed to us getting our education that he would tell us, "If you get picked up in a protest and are going to jail, take your books with you." He knew that we needed to continue our education. He knew how important that was to our future and to our fight for civil rights. view article arw

If you live in the Dallas school district, the tax ratification election that we’ve recommended you approve is understandably the big-ticket item that’s getting most of your attention this election. The district sorely needs the influx of the millions of dollars that Proposition C would bring to build on initiatives that we know are working, like pre-K expansion and merit pay increases for teachers.  But also tucked at the very bottom of your ballot are three other propositions that shouldn’t be overlooked — two that are important to the financial health of the district and one that goes directly to keeping kids safe getting to and from school. We recommend voters also say “yes” to all three of these. view article arw

With local opposition and the chance to increase district revenues to consider, El Campo ISD trustees voted to proceed with an application from Seventus, LLC that is seeking a tax credit to start a wind farm. The board giving the go ahead for the application process does not bind the district to any agreement with Seventus. view article arw

A tax ratification election was one of the options Hallsville ISD trustees discussed with consultants Monday night to fund a possible project. Though the district is in contract negotiations with Huckabee Architects for architectural services, Superintendent Jeff Collum said administrators are exploring its options for additional revenue before they make official plans for construction. He said trustees will set financial goals and look at the district’s facilities needs at an upcoming meeting. view article arw

Tony Harkleroad was apprehensive when he staked the sign that read "Vote No" in big, block letters in his front yard. Harkleroad isn't a typical voter. He's Richardson ISD's retired chief financial officer of 16 years, and the fact that he's speaking out against his former employer is drawing attention. view article arw

Tony Harkleroad was apprehensive when he staked the sign that read "Vote No" in big, block letters in his front yard. Harkleroad isn't a typical voter. He's Richardson ISD's retired chief financial officer of 16 years, and the fact that he's speaking out against his former employer is drawing attention. The little piece of political advocacy against Richardson ISD's tax ratification election was a line in the sand, placing him on one side and the "vote for" sign across on the street on the other. view article arw

Hundreds of business, education and community leaders met on Halloween to discuss a frightening topic: public school finance in Texas.“This may have been the scariest Halloween you’ve ever had,” said Sagar Desai, managing director of operations at Dallas-based Commit Partnership, a coalition working to improve education in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A decadelong decline in state spending per student has shifted more of the bulk of public school funding onto the shoulders of local property taxpayers, and the rate of graduates going on to earn post-secondary degrees or certifications is falling short of the job market’s demand for skilled workers in the state, according to presenters at the Waco Regional School Finance Convening hosted by the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium and members of the McLennan County Chamber Alliance. view article arw

Over the past two years, large companies such as AT&T (NYSE: T), Ikea, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Nike (NYSE: NKE) have all commissioned wind farms in the Lone Star State. view article arw

Chillicothe ISD has started phase two of their wind farm project to help raise funds for various school projects. October 19th, the Chillicothe school board signed off on an agreement on property appraisals for a wind farm by Blue Summit Wind, LLC. Phase two of the project is underway now and Superintendent Todd Wilson is hopeful the district will continue to reap the benefits of wind farms. view article arw

Interesting read - js - The Victoria school district cannot write a check back to every taxpayer after the one-time, 11-cent tax increase, said Superintendent Quintin Shepherd.  “We have committed to repaying the taxpayers,” Shepherd said. “How does a district do that? We haven’t made that final determination.” view article arw

A Bell County jury has returned a verdict of more than $500,000 to a Central Texas couple, finding that the State of Texas didn't pay them enough when it took a parcel of their land to widen Interstate 35. The jury award, delivered Oct. 26, is five times the amount the state had offered for the private property through eminent domain. The dispute involved a 9,500-square-foot parcel of land that for more than 30 years housed part of an auto salvage business operated by W.H. and Sandra Anderson in Troy, Texas. In 2012, the state filed for condemnation of the property to expand I-35 and conditionally agreed to pay the Andersons approximately $65,000. view article arw

On Election Day, voters will have the chance to invest an additional 13 cents of property taxes in Dallas schools through a Tax Ratification Election (TRE). The TRE (proposition C at the bottom of the ballot) will provide our schools with the investment that they need to ensure that Dallas ISD can maintain opportunities for early learning, increase teacher and staff pay, and protect against budget cuts due to the state’s “Robin Hood” system. I will be casting my vote in support of Dallas’ kids. I support the TRE, not only as a Dallas ISD Distinguished Teacher, but as a black man who knows the struggles of growing up poor. I know the hunger pains of going to bed on an empty stomach and dreaming about free school meals. view article arw

We hear plenty from elected leaders about Texas being a “low-tax state,” but we are actually a high-tax state for many families. By maintaining a tax system that puts financial strain on lower-income Texans, state leaders are widening the income equity gap and making it harder for low-wage families to work their way out of poverty. view article arw

El Paso:  2018 Penny Swap Election

October 2908:40 AM

Voters in El Paso  ISD will decide on a 10-cent Penny Swap that will shift a dime from the Debt Service part of the EPISD tax rate into the Maintenance & Operations side.  The swap will have zero impact on the overall tax rate for property owners. In fact, the EPISD tax rate for 2018-19 will stay at the same level as it did last year.  view article arw

Waco Independent School District will be giving updates in a series of community meetings on how it has used millions of dollars in added revenue made possible by a tax increase voters approved in 2015.The first meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, and the next two will follow at the same time on the next two Mondays. The meetings will also give officials a chance to discuss other district priorities and take input from residents. view article arw

If Proposition A on the ballot is approved, it would give the El Paso Independent School District $7.5 million in state matching funds every year. The proposition doesn't raise taxes for people living within the district's boundaries. It moves 10 cents from the interest and sinking fund into the maintenance and operation fund. view article arw

Four years ago, Dan Patrick promised he would “cut property taxes for all Texans” if he were elected lieutenant governor. But since he won that race, property taxes for most Texans have continued to increase as Patrick’s attempts to institute reforms have failed to become law or have not produced substantial savings for homeowners.  Now those misfires are central to Democrat Mike Collier’s campaign against Patrick. Collier, an accountant from Kingwood, has said Patrick not only has failed to reduce taxes, but has made decisions as the leader of the Texas Senate that have led local school districts to raise property taxes even more.  “Dan Patrick has failed to resolve the property tax problem,” Collier said. “It’s gotten much worse.” view article arw

Southside Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $17 million bond, the district's second bond proposition in two years. The bond would be dedicated to expanding and renovating facilities for extracurricular activities.  Southside is seeking approval for a small amount compared to other districts' bond propositions. In the spring, Northside ISD, a district with 100,000 more students than the 5,800 in Southside, passed a $849 million bond with funding for two new elementary schools, one new middle school, and a new high school. view article arw