Flint Hills Resources and the Nueces County Appraisal District have agreed to settle their legal dispute over property taxes. view article arw

For 11 years Richardson ISD has maintained a steady maintenance and operations tax rate, but in November the district will ask voters to contribute additional dollars toward its general fund—a move it says would cost the average homeowner an additional $305 per year.“We certainly know it is not an opportune time for our taxpayers with the increases they have seen with our appraisals, but we have waited as long as we can, and this is the time when we have to go ask our taxpayers for the increase,” RISD board of trustees President Justin Bono said. view article arw

Texas education officials made no effort to hide the reality every property owner faces when their tax bill comes due — the state has no interest in paying its share of public education. They’re able to get away with it because of an effective blame game carried out by the state’s elected leaders, who point their fingers at local appraisal districts and school boards as the culprits for skyrocketing property taxes. It’s a game that clearly works. A poll question that’s been up at thefacts.com for some time presents a simple choice on who is more accountable for increases in school property taxes, local school officials or state government. Of the 730 votes registered, 444 faulted local school boards. That’s about 61 percent. view article arw

The Holliday ISD may see more money before too long thanks it a recent election. With the tax ratification election passed on Sept. 8, Holliday ISD expects to have more money coming into the district and with so many ways that money could be used they are looking for some input from the community on what should be upgraded. The tax ratification election did not raise taxes, but instead, it moved some of the tax revenue into maintenance and operations, which should bring in a lot more money over the next few years. view article arw

CADDO MILLS — The Caddo Mills Independent School District will hold two community meetings to inform residents about the proposed tax rate “swap,” which will be decided on by voters on Oct. 13. District officials on Wednesday afternoon announced the place and time of the meetings through the Caddo Mills ISD Facebook page.  The first meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the cafeteria of Caddo Mills Middle School, located 2700 Gilmer St. The second meeting will take place at the same time on Oct. 4 at the cafeteria of Caddo Mills High School, located 2710 Gilmer St.  Early voting for the tax rate proposal will take place between Sept. 26 and Oct. 9. view article arw

Texas has seen unprecedented property value growth in recent years. At the same time, property owners have seen their property taxes rise. This has created a frenzy among state lawmakers in Austin over how to "save" taxpayers from their local governments. That's because it's easier for lawmakers to blame someone else for problems they create, rather than address the statewide problems it is their responsibility to solve. Texas lawmakers need to focus on how to use our booming economy to fix the longstanding problems of inadequate school funding and the high rate of uninsured Texans driving up costs in our public hospitals. But all the grandstanding by state officials about local property taxes doesn't fix anything.  view article arw

Do you hear that giant sucking sound? It’s the sound of our state government in Austin slurping up your local school taxes.Last week, the Texas Education Agency projected that the state will spend $3.5 billion less in general revenue funds on education over the next couple of years. That’s because the local property tax revenues are expected to go through the roof — rising by about 6.8 percent each year. As property tax revenues rise, the state cuts its share of school funding. More of the tax burden is left on the shoulders of homeowners and businesses. view article arw

The state’s budget situation improves as the financial load on Texas property owners increases. That makes for noisy and gnarly politics.   Officials from the Texas Education Agency gave state budget-writers an early look at their budget numbers this week, saying that thy expect property values to rise 6.8 percent per year over the next two years Their takeaway gives a new meaning to take-away: That means local property taxpayers will be paying billions more for public schools, and that the state will spend billions less than it would otherwise as a result. view article arw

Pearland ISD board of trustees passed a tax rate of $1.4156 per $100 valuation, the same as the 2017-18 overall tax rate. However, the board voted to pass a tax swap, moving two pennies from the interest and sinking, or I&S, rate to the maintenance and operations, or M&O, rate for 2018-19 only. This swap will make the M&O rate $1.06 per $100 valuation and the I&S rate $0.3556 per $100 valuation. The district was able to pass a tax swap without voter approval by law as the district was considering damaged during Hurricane Harvey. After one year, the tax rate will revert back to the 2017-18 rate. view article arw

Days after Cedar Hill ISD voters shot down a measure aimed at raising revenue for the school district, district leaders carted boxes of donuts to schools.  "Any time you lose, it stings," Superintendent Billy Snow said. "What I've learned in my career is that you fight those feelings of loss or being down by doing something good."  So school staff members swallowed the defeat with Krispy Kreme. The theme: "DoNUT give up!" Cedar Hill was the only one of five North Texas school districts to take a loss Saturday in a tax-ratification election. Duncanville, Azle, Keller and Ennis ISD voters passed their own measures. view article arw

Copperas Cove ISD officials are planning their next moves after more than 70 percent of school district voters approved a proposed tax rate swap. The vote allows the district to shift a portion of the debt retirement rate to maintenance and operations, reducing the debt retirement tax rate to 5 cents and increasing the maintenance and operation rate to $1.17. The move will give the district $4 million in additional funds, which it needs to offset the looming loss of millions of dollars a year in federal impact aid payments. view article arw

Voters approved the McAllen Independent School District’s tax ratification on Saturday, according to unofficial final results from the Hidalgo County Elections Department.  Seventy-six percent were in favor of the tax ratification, while 24 percent voted against it.   view article arw

Cove ISD tax swap passes

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COPPERAS COVE — The Copperas Cove Independent School District will have more taxpayer dollars going toward operations after voters approved a measure to move those dollars on Saturday.  There were 746 votes for and 293 votes against a proposed movement of existing tax dollars from the district’s interest and sinking fund, which pays for bonded district debts, to the operations side of the budget, according to unofficial election results from Justin K. Carothers, Coryell County Tax Assessor/Collector.  A total of 1,054 voted. There were 665 votes tallied between Aug. 22 and Sept. 4 in early voting for the election. view article arw

Cedar Hill ISD voters on Saturday rejected a measure intended to raise revenue for the school district. The failure of the tax-ratification election came as Duncanville, Azle, Keller and Ennis ISD voters overwhelmingly passed their own measures. The elections were prompted primarily because school officials have said they're tired of waiting on changes to the state's complicated and dated school finance system.  Cedar Hill Superintendent Billy Snow had said in an interview that school districts are boxed in by the state's education funding model.  "When state contribution continues to drop ... you have to do something to get money to our schools," he said.  Both the southern Dallas County districts had proposed variations of what is called a "penny swap." view article arw

Voters have given the McAllen school district the go-ahead to move forward with a tax revenue transfer to pay for a variety of facilities improvements. Saturday’s special Tax Ratification Election was overwhelmingly approved 76 to 24 percent, although turnout was extremely low with less than 4 percent of voters going to the polls. view article arw

Hey Texplainer: Which homeowners qualify for property tax relief? The property taxes Texas homeowners pay are determined by how much appraisal districts say land and buildings are worth and the tax rates that local government entities like cities, counties and school districts each set.  Many Texans say their property taxes are too high. And even though the state does not collect property taxes, Texas lawmakers say they want to slow increases in property tax bills. Yet all homeowners can already qualify for some sort of relief through what’s called the exemptions process. view article arw

Election Saturday!  COPPERAS COVE — Joe Burns, superintendent of the Copperas Cove Independent School District, described many corner-cutting measures taken the past several years in an effort to save money. Over the past five years, officials say various class curriculums have been modified, pay raises and new hires have been limited, among other measures.  Burns said those measures will dramatically increase if the district’s tax ratification election fails Saturday, warning of larger class sizes, a reduction in extracurricular programming and stricter travel stipulations for sports teams. view article arw

Scores of Copperas Cove residents cast their ballots during early voting in the Cove school district’s tax ratification election over the last two weeks. A total of 665 votes were tallied between Aug. 22 and Sept. 4 in response to CCISD’s proposed movement of existing tax dollars from the district’s Interest & Sinking fund to the Operations side of the budget. Early voting ended Tuesday. view article arw

The Plano ISD School Board on Tuesday approved the same tax rate for the fifth year in a row at $1.439 per $100 valuation. The $618.1 million budget for 2018-19 includes a 2-percent general pay raise for district employees and bus drivers as well as a bump to starting salaries for prospective PISD teachers. view article arw

Weimar ISD adopts tax rate

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The Weimar Independent School District Board of Trustees last Thursday evening voted without dissent to adopt its tax rate for the 2018-2019 school year. The board adopted $1.04 as the maintenance and operations tax rate, and .22 as the interest and sinking tax rate to pay interest on the district's debt.  view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Education Agency is asking lawmakers for less money for Texas public schools because current law says local property taxes would increase to take on a larger share of the cost. Per state law, each school district starts with $5,140 per student before a series of formulas adjusts the number for an individual district. That amount is made up of state funding through the Foundation School Program and your local property taxes.  view article arw

Madisonville CISD passed a proposed restructure after Thursday’s Tax Ratification Election (TRE) by a total count of 312 votes in favor of the restructure and 79 against, joining North Zulch ISD in a similar TRE passage in July. The MCISD board voted to hold the TRE at their monthly meeting for July. The passage will not result in a tax increase, but restructure the M&O and I&S taxes without changing the actual rate. By doing this, MCISD becomes eligible for a significantly higher amount of funding from the state. view article arw

Henderson ISD tax rate goes unchanged

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The Henderson Independent School District tax rate will remain the same for the 2018-19 school year, although the district still expects an increase in revenues. Superintendent Keith Boles said the additional money will come from an overall up-tick in local property values and a change in the state’s funding formula, allowing the district to increase teacher paychecks. view article arw

Plano ISD’s tax rate will remain unchanged for fiscal year 2019, but district officials point to a projected $57 million increase in recapture payments it will send to the state as the reason for adopting the unchanged rate. Trustees adopted Tuesday a tax rate of $1.439 per $100 valuation—the same rate PISD has adopted in the last three years. That rate is broken down into two categories: $1.17 per $100 valuation for the district’s day-to-day operations, and $0.269 per $100 valuation for the district’s debt-service payments. view article arw

Early voting for the proposed tax ratification election for the local school district has thus far prompted nearly 700 voters to cast their ballots with one week to go before Election Day. The Hidalgo County Elections Department reported a total of 699 votes as of Thursday. Of these, 255 were cast via mail, the latest report showed. Friday's total count was not available as of press time. Early voting began on Aug. 22 and will run through Tuesday with the early voting polls closed Sunday and Monday. The three poling locations for early voting are Fireman’s Pump House at 201 N. First St., the Lark Community Center at 2601 Lark Ave., and Palmview Community Center at 3401 Jordan Ave. These locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. view article arw

Tuesday is your last chance to vote early for the McAllen school district’s special Tax Ratification Election. Voters are being asked to allow the district to move a portion of its tax revenue from one fund to another to pay for facilities improvements, including upgrades to school security. The transfer of tax revenue would allow the school district to leverage state dollars, and could bring in up to a total of $14 million. The district is planning to use the money for additional science laboratories, 134 defibrillators, and intercom upgrades, as well as safety improvements, including hiring a police officer for each elementary school. view article arw

A delay in tax payments from local industry has put the Tuloso-Midway Independent School District in a tight spot. The TMISD board approved a bare-bones $38 million budget this week. The Flint Hills refinery is one of the biggest taxpayers in the TMISD and because of a dispute with the county tax appraiser, the company is withholding $1 million. view article arw

Property owners in Poth can expect higher tax bills — on average — after Poth Independent School District trustees approved to raise the district’s property-tax rate to $1.3565 per $100 of assessed property value during an Aug. 29 meeting. This amounts to a 23.27-cent increase from last year’s rate of $1.1238 per $100. “It was actually raised 2 cents less than we had projected, when the district went out for the $10 million bond,” said Superintendent Paula Renken. view article arw

After considering a tax rate increase for the 2018-2019 school year, the Alvord School Board Thursday opted to leave the tax rate the same. The challenge facing the board this year was a depleted fund balance in the debt service budget. In order to keep the tax rate the same the past two years, the board authorized dipping into the debt service fund balance to make up the difference. That left an estimated $46,382 in the debt service reserves. Keeping the tax rate the same would result in a $54,102 decrease in fund balance. view article arw

Superintendent Darrell Myers gave a math lesson at the last board meeting. The subject wasn’t as complicated as algebra, fractions, or even geometry. The Cleveland ISD superintendent did simple addition and subtraction demonstrating the state of the district and offering a compelling reason to leave the tax rate the same. view article arw

GONZALES — Gonzales ISD was victorious over the weekend, having passed its Tax Ratification Election that is projected to save the district dollars normally sent to the state by swapping around a couple of tax formulas. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas - In a 6-1 vote, board members of the El Paso Independent School Board approved the language for the Tax Ratification Election, or TRE, for the November ballot.Voters are asked to approve money to be taken from the Interest and Syncing (I&S) account and use it for the Maintenance and Operation (M&O) account. The money will be used to fund a one-time teacher stipend, expand academic programming and repay money borrowed from the district's savings account. view article arw

The following information came from Victoria Independent School District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), year ending Aug. 31, 2017, and the budget for VISD, adopted Aug. 24, 2017. The proposed VISD budget for 2018-19 is not yet available. The information that’s relevant to the proposed $0.13 tax increase is found below under Debt Service Fund Balance (DSF) and the accumulating DSF balance reserve for the past eight years. The following table shows the increase according to VISD’s CAFRs 2011-17: view article arw

The University of North Texas System Chancellor Lesa Roe named Barbara A. Abercrombie as the system's new chief human capital officer effective Sept. 24. Abercrombie was most recently vice president of human resources and organizational effectiveness and chief human resources officer at Texas A&M University. She replaces interim chief human capital officer Brandi Renton, who will return to her role as associate vice president for administrative services at UNT. view article arw

The Ore City ISD board of trustees is scheduled to discuss the district's proposed budget and tax rate Thursday night. view article arw