Carthage ISD is dropping its tax rate, but a $400 million increase in property value appraisals means the average taxpayer will see a $35 increase this year. That increase in appraised values also means Carthage ISD will pay more in recapture fees to the state — aka “Robin Hood” payments — than originally anticipated. view article arw

When representatives of a renewable energy company first approached Concho County residents about building a wind farm on their sloping terrain in Central Texas, landowners weren't sold.  Wind was still building its reputation as a reliable energy source back in 2007, and West Texas and the Panhandle claimed most projects. The Great Recession hit a few months later, and plans for the project were shelved.  But a series of nearby wind developments in recent years helped get locals on board, reviving plans for the site 2 miles northwest of Eden, Texas. Construction of a wind farm called Maverick Creek is set to begin in September, with annual wind energy production in the state on track to surpass coal energy for the first time. "It's a continuation of what we've been seeing, which is a robust wind buildout in Texas," said Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute. view article arw

Homeowners in Klein ISD may see a nearly 5% reduction in their district tax rate for the 2019-20 school year compared to last academic year following passage of House Bill 3, according to KISD officials. HB 3, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 11, requires school districts to compress their tax rates and boost teachers’ pay as part of its school finance reform package. For KISD, the total state funding is expected to increase by about $21 million in 2019‐20, according to the district. view article arw

During this annual sales tax holiday, you can buy most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) tax free from a Texas store or from an online or catalog seller doing business in Texas. In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free.  This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 9, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 11. view article arw

Wise County entities will soon have to pay more money to natural gas companies as a result of the September 2018 court decision on the taxable value of large leased compressors. Chief appraiser of the Wise County Central Appraisal District Mickey Hand has sent notices to entities in the county in June and July that several companies have filed for refunds. The largest was a collective $407,000 owed to J-W Power Company on which notices were sent out in June. Hand said notices on behalf of six more companies were sent out in July (AXIP Energy, $70,000; Enerven Compression, $57,000; Mustang Gas Compression, $16,000; MGC Equipment, $16,000; Service Compression, $21,000; and Valerus Compression, $183,000). view article arw

Shoppers looking to take advantage of some upcoming tax free deals, can use those savings to help out Marshall ISD’s “Pack the Bus” school supply drive and fundraiser Saturday at Walmart in Marshall. Tax free weekend is set to run Aug. 9-11, offering shoppers about $102.2 million in state and local sales tax savings on items such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100. view article arw

The mayor of a small town in the Rio Grande Valley has voiced her displeasure at a key piece of legislation passed by the state leadership – property tax reform. Under Senate Bill 2, municipalities can only increase property taxes by 3.5 percent before having to get the approval of voters. The threshold used to be eight percent. The legislation goes into law on Jan. 1, 2020. “What they were trying to do and succeeded in doing was limit the cap of eight percent on property tax increases,” Cyndie Rathbun, mayor of Rancho Viejo, told the Rio Grande Guardian. view article arw

The Denison Independent School district will be holding a public hearing on Aug. 20 to discuss the tax rate for the next year. The proposed tax rate is is $1.3976, which includes a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.0684 and a debt service tax rate of $.3292. The first draft of the budget shows the district revenues at $59,194,500 in total. It breaks down to $29,125,500 from local sources with the remainder coming from state and local revenue. The total expenditures the district is looking at comes out to $58,602,656, and $27,930,399 of that is allocated to instruction. view article arw

Comment: School districts cannot have an election in 19/20 - js - Fannin County, Texas -- Beginning in 2020, Senate Bill 2 will require voters to give their approval before cities, counties and other taxing units could raise 3.5% more property tax revenue than during the previous year. The bill dictates that community colleges and hospital districts must hold an election before surpassing 8% property tax revenue growth.  First of all, it is important to note that this formula will only apply to revenue generated by existing property, which exempts property that has gone onto tax rolls during the current fiscal year (Sept. 1-Sept. 1). view article arw

In yet another sign of healthy cash flow, the Leander ISD board of trustees voted 5-0 on Aug. 1 to allow an additional $3,000 exemption of real property for adults who are disabled or at least 65 years old. The exemption begins Jan. 1. view article arw

A 14-cent tax rate cut is in the works for the Belton Independent School District. “That’s a really, really significant decrease in the tax rate,” Jennifer Land, Belton ISD’s chief financial officer, told the school board Monday. view article arw

School board members have set a 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 public hearing at the Jacksonville ISD administrative office for their 2019-20 proposed fiscal year budget and the tax rate that will fund it. The announcement was made during Monday's regular board meeting, with all members present except for Trustee Michael Traylor. According to Lindy Finley, the JISD associate superintendent of finance, “the proposed General Fund budget is $45,865,892, higher than the previous year's budget due to the Legislative Session and (Texas) House Bill 3. view article arw

Decatur ISD cuts tax rate

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While property values are up, property owners in Decatur ISD will get a break on the tax rate. During its meeting Monday morning, Decatur ISD trustees decided to propose a total tax rate of $1.21 – 97 cents for maintenance and operations and 24 cents for debt service. The rate is 9.5 cents below last year’s rate at $1.305. The district will look to approve the tax rate and the 2019-20 budget at 8 a.m. Aug. 29. The new school finance law signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott following the latest legislative session, House Bill 3, compressed district’s maintenance and operations rates from $1.04 to 97 cents. With the district’s tax roll jumping 11.4 percent from $2.3 billion to $2.566 billion, the district was able to drop the debt service rate and still cover the $5.694 million in debt payments and fees. view article arw

As property values continue to rise across North Texas, some Tarrant County homeowners found at least a little relief this year. Tarrant County home owners filed more than 170,000 protests against rising values — and 89% of them saw a reduction in their home value, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District. That means one in four of the county’s 611,000 homeowners saw their property values drop after protesting the county’s proposed appraisal of their property. view article arw

Property owners in the Katy ISD geographic boundary may pay lower property taxes if a new tax rate is approved. District administration recommended the board approves a tax rate of $1.4432, in which the maintenance and operations tax rate would be $1.0532 per $100 valuation and the interest and sinking tax rate would be $0.39 per $100 valuation. The 2018-19 property tax rate was $1.5166. The rate will decrease thanks to the passage of House Bill 3—the state Legislature’s school finance reform bill. view article arw

Whether you’re in need of notebooks, rulers or running shoes, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on those and other items during the state’s sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9-11. view article arw

Praxair plans to heavily invest in the Sweeny area, but an agreement on value limitation with Sweeny ISD previously stood in the way of concrete plans to develop that partnership. The board of trustees approved an agreement between Praxair and Sweeny ISD at a meeting July 9 that would allow the school district to offer a value limitation to its industry partner, Sweeny ISD  view article arw

El Campo ISD trustees approved a proposed tax rate for 2019-2020 that is 8 cents lower than last year’s rate as mandated by House Bill 3 (HB3) at Tuesday’s meeting. Trustees also approved raises for teachers and staff, along with administrators (raises for administration were not a part of the new school finance bill). view article arw

Tax rolls make big jump

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Buoyed by more than $175 million in new construction, tax rolls increased by double-digits in many Wise County entities for the 2019 tax year. The Wise County Central Appraisal District released the certified values for the county, school districts, cities and special districts this week with nearly all seeing sizable jumps from the preliminary values released in the spring. “Everyone is up a little from the preliminary values,” said Wise County Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand. “The real estate market is driving it. Minerals were hit and miss but by and large flat.” view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District announced proposed lower taxes with the 2020 budget Thursday. The district said $426 million bond voters passed in 2018 will cost taxpayers less than expected, and district superintendent Dr. John Craft and KISD chief financial officer Megan Bradley sold the remaining $126 million in bonds. view article arw

Port Arthur ISD’s superintendent says a $17 million tax payment by Motiva Enterprises is an example of professionals thinking about “what is best for all.” Mark Porterie issued a 359-word op-ed for The Enterprise calling it “refreshing” that the district and Motiva could work together for the “common good of the children we serve.” view article arw

Taxpayers living in Hutto ISD’s boundaries could see their lowest school tax rate in five years if the district’s proposed rate is adopted for the 2019-20 school year. The Hutto ISD Board of Trustees set a proposed maximum tax rate at nearly $1.50 per $100 of taxable value for the 2019-20 academic year at its July 25 meeting. The board will revisit the tax rate at its August 22 meeting—which will include a public hearing at 5:30 p.m.—before the tax rate is formally adopted. view article arw

At their regularly scheduled meeting Monday, July 22, Burnet CISD Trustees proposed a new tax rate for the 2019-2020 school year for maintenance and operations and debt service. The proposed tax rate will lower the maintenance and operations rate from $1.06 to $0.99, and the interest and sinking (debt services) rate from $0.20 to $0.195, for a total rate of $1.185 compared to last year’s $1.26 tax rate. If passed, this will be the fourth year in a row that the District has reduced the tax rate for the upcoming school year, according to Superintendent Keith McBurnett. view article arw

According to a 2019 study published by Paige Martin of Keller Williams Realty, homes zoned to the top-performing schools in the Houston area tend to be more expensive. Community Impact Newspaper conducted an independent study comparing Cy-Fair ISD schools’ 2017-18 accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency to the median appraised value of homes in these campuses’ immediate neighborhoods from the Houston Association of Realtors. Schools located in the northwest portion of the district were typically ranked higher by the TEA and had higher appraised home values view article arw

Texas is now Exxon Mobil's largest polyethylene producer after the Irving company started production on a huge new polyethylene line in Beaumont that expands the petrochemical plant's capacity by 65 percent.  Exxon Mobil said Wednesday it the new polyethylene units in Beaumont boosts production by 650,000 tons per year, bringing site capacity to nearly 1.7 million tons per year at the Beaumont plant. The multi-billion investment builds on other recent investments Exxon recently completed in 2017, when it added two new polyethylene lines to its Mont Belvieu, Texas plant. view article arw

More than three months after Port Arthur ISD’s superintendent accused Motiva Enterprises for trying to shortchange the public school system, the company has paid an additional $17 million in property taxes. view article arw

Springtown ISD set the date to hold a public meeting for the 2019-20 budget and tax rate on Aug. 26 at the next regular board meeting. Trustees made this decision during their board meeting on Monday evening. Superintendent Mike Kelley said the board is expected to set a tax rate at the August meeting and then propose a budget afterward. view article arw

Millsap ISD board of trustees proposed a 2-cent decrease in the interest and sinking tax rate during the meeting on Monday evening. The proposed total tax rate is $1.4706 per $100 valuation, which includes an INS rate of $0.4022 and maintenance and operations rate of $1.0684. Last year, MISD adopted a tax rate of $1.5922. The board also set a date for a public hearing on the tax rate and 2019-20 budget before adoption on Aug. 26. view article arw

Randy Armstrong, board president of the White Settlement school district on Fort Worth’s west side, says he will not step down, challenging part of a new state tax law governing employees of appraisal districts. Armstrong is the director of residential appraisals for the Tarrant Appraisal District, which sets property values for homeowners in 21 school districts, including White Settlement, and 41 cities, including Fort Worth. view article arw

School districts across Texas, including Pflugerville, are planning their financial futures after a new school finance reform bill is making some adjust how much financial burden they place on property owners. On July 18, the board of trustees at the Pflugerville Independent School District proposed lowering its property tax rate by seven cents because of House Bill 3. The trustees would like to set it at $1.45 per $100 valuation, which would be lower than the previous year’s rate of $1.52 per $100 valuation. view article arw

The Huntington ISD Board of Trustees held a public meeting to set its 2019-20 tax rate, budget and compensation plan during a Monday evening meeting.  The board set a tax rate of $1.3422 at its June meeting. The rate included a maintenance and operation rate of $1.17. However, House Bill 3 required school districts to reduce their M&O rates to $1.0684, but the timing for HISD was off because it is a July 1 budget, and the legislation hadn’t been clarified in time. read more arw

With more houses on the market, fewer North Texas home sellers getting their original asking price. Home price increases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have slowed to a trickle in recent months. And real estate agents report that more properties are seeing price reductions to land a sale. view article arw

White Settlement School board President Randy Armstrong isn’t quitting, no matter what the Texas Legislature says. A new law meant to prevent conflicts of interest will force Armstrong out as board president in 2020 — unless he quits his real job. That’s because he works at the Tarrant Appraisal District. That agency decides what your home is worth so the school district can collect taxes on it. view article arw

Buoyed by an injection of more than $12 million of education funds from the state legislature, Pflugerville ISD will have its lowest property tax rate since at least 2005. Trustees voted July 18 to set its proposed 2019-2020 school year total tax rate at $1.45 per $100 valuation. That tax rate is 7 cents lower than its tax rate last year, representing the largest drop in the school district’s tax rate since 2008-09, when PfISD dropped its tax rate by 21 cents. view article arw

Homeowners in Longview ISD could see lower taxes after the school board agreed to a proposed rate at its Monday meeting,  And encouraging a healthy lifestyle seemed to be a theme, with a new high school after-school program founded by actor and Longview High School graduate Matthew McConaughey and nearly $500,000 approved for compost accelerators at all campuses. The proposed tax rate of $1.443 per $100 valuation is a reduction from the 2018-19 rate of $1.513 per $100 valuation. view article arw