State officials and lakefront property owners north of San Antonio agreed to not drain four lakes whose 90-year-old dams are at risk of collapsing, under the condition that people must stay off the lakes.  Hundreds of property owners, represented by two attorneys, filed suits seeking to stop the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority from draining Lake Placid, Lake McQueeney, Lake Gonzales and Meadow Lake. Two other lakes, Dunlap and Wood, were already drained after floodgate failures on each of their dams in May of this year and 2016, respectively view article arw

City officials here held their second tax rate hearing Monday for the public to provide feedback to commissioners before they vote later this month to increase the property tax rate in McAllen, which would pay for drainage and traffic projects that voters approved in a 2018 bond election. But the only people who showed up for Monday’s hearing were city staff and a student required to attend a city meeting. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—After discovering the Texas Education Agency may nullify the WFISD Tax Ratification Election, board members are still planning for a school bond election despite the potential of losing an estimated $1.4 million in additional funds.  “I am not in favor of choice, I’m not in favor of two unequal high schools, we need a 5A and a 5A,” one Wichita Falls resident attending Monday evening’s school board meeting said. view article arw

SEGUIN — The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and lakefront property owners who sued the agency agreed Monday afternoon to a compromise: the four lakes won’t be drained, at least for now, but people and their boats have to stay off the reservoirs.  In addition, an appointed three-member panel of experts will determine the future use of lakes McQueeney, Placid, Meadow and Gonzales.  The accord, formally known as a temporary injunction, was hashed out between attorneys for the GBRA and for two separate sets of lake property owners who sued the agency to prevent the draining of the lakes.  The GBRA had planned to begin draining Gonzales, the first of the four lakes, on Monday. view article arw

Somewhere along the road from Brownsville to South Padre Island, at the southern tip of Texas’ Gulf Coast, things take a turn for the picturesque. Clues of the Port of Brownsville’s transportation industry—cranes, storage tanks, floodlights—vanish. To your left, the Bahia Grande, a 6,500-acre tidal basin, yawns into the distance. To your right, a swath of salt-tolerant black mangroves recedes toward the ship channel, sheltering nesting birds and filtering water. Tricolor squadrons of blue herons, great white egrets, and roseate spoonbills stalk their prey as enormous brown pelicans battle through heavy currents overhead. Somewhere, a rare ocelot lurks in a patch of thornscrub. view article arw

Humble ISD’s school board approved a significant property tax rate reduction on the heels of increased state funding during its monthly meeting on Tuesday. The district’s rate dropped to nearly $1.42 per $100 valuation - a decrease of about 10 cents. Residents with a home valued at $200,000 would save about $200 on their property tax bill. view article arw

Property owners in Houston ISD will see a 5.8 percent reduction in their school tax rate in 2019, the result of state legislation passed this spring, after the district’s school board on Thursday approved a rate cut. The reduction will help offset rising tax bills tied to annual increases in property values in HISD, the state’s largest school district. Property values in the district have risen annually by an average of roughly 7 percent over the past five years, meaning taxpayers likely will see relatively similar school tax bills this year when compared to 2018. view article arw

A health policy organization is calling for a tax on sugary drinks, among 30 other policy recommendations, in light of a new report that finds 1 in 3 Americans of all ages is obese. The Trust for America's Health based its report in part on newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and analysis by TFAH provides an annual snapshot of obesity rates nationwide. view article arw

A second local school district recently joined the growing ranks in the community of those openly requesting the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority postpone its plans to drain the lakes. The Seguin Independent School District Board of Trustees adopted a resolution Wednesday evening asking the GBRA to reconsider dewatering the lakes with no long-term plan in place. view article arw

School districts and cities in the area are setting their tax rates for the upcoming year. The Amarillo Independent School District adopted their tax rate last month, and it is the lowest tax rate in the last 13 years. Amarillo ISD will be lowering their tax rate by .07 cents compared to last year. The decrease in the maintenance and operations rate is the result of the tax compression required in House Bill 3. view article arw

Tomball ISD taxpayers will see a change in the district’s property tax rate for the first time since 2014. During the Sept. 10 school board meeting, trustees unanimously adopted a 2019-2020 property tax rate of $1.29 per $100 valuation — a 5-cent reduction from previous years. view article arw

During the August 12th regular meeting, the Royse City ISD Board of Trustees approved a 10.165 cent tax rate decrease. The decrease is on the Maintenance and Operating (M&O) side of the combined tax rate and comes as a result of H.B. 3 that was approved by lawmakers this spring. “We are grateful to our locally elected representatives and state legislators for their renewed commitment to the education of Texas students,” Byron Bryant, RCISD Chief Financial Officer said, “Our District chose to invest all of our additional funds due to the change in law directly into our staff with a record setting $4,000+ raise to all of our teachers, librarians, nurses, and counselors.” view article arw

Beckville ISD is waiting on timeline and legal guidance from the Texas Association of School Boards before deciding whether or not to pursue a tax ratification election, Superintendent Devin Tate said.  Tate updated school board members on the item at Monday's school board member, saying TASB publishes guidance on TRE elections each year — but also this year's document has not been released yet. view article arw

WFISD officials announced on Monday that House Bill 3 could be affecting the results of the Tax Ratification Election (TRE). The TEA is now saying if a school district did not write in their strategic plan last fall that they were looking to do a TRE then the state is not going to recognize the election results, which creates a problem for the Wichita Falls ISD. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved a tax rate of $1.37 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2019-20—a $0.07 decrease over 2018-19—at its Sept. 9 meeting. Chief Financial Officer Karen Smith said at the Sept. 5 board work session the owner of a home valued at $200,000 would save about $95 on their annual property tax bill. view article arw

Humble ISD residents will see a lower property tax rate in the 2019-20 year, as the district approved a rate at the Sept. 10 meeting of $1.41835 per $100 valuation—a roughly 10-cent decrease from the $1.52 rate in 2018-19. The maintenance and operations rate, which funds the district’s day-to-day operations, is $1.06835—down from $1.17. The interest and sinking or debt service rate remained unchanged at $0.35. view article arw

A local school district joined in the effort and is officially asking the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority to reconsider dewatering the Guadalupe Valley lakes.  The Navarro Independent School District Board of Trustees held a special meeting Tuesday evening to discuss a resolution urging the authority to reconsider its decision to drain the local lakes without a long-term plan.  The resolution also states that any decrease in property value as a result of the dewatering could impact the Interest and Sinking tax rate and future debt. view article arw

Waco-area programs addressing youth homelessness got a considerable shot in the arm with the recent announcement of a $2.23 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded to the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition. The grant, one of two given in the state, is part of $75 million awarded in HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, which supports a variety of approaches aimed at providing housing of some sort to youth 25 and younger. The amount is nearly double the $43 million awarded last year and indicates the priority Secretary of Housing Ben Carson puts on solving homelessness, HUD Region VI spokesperson Patricia Campbell said. view article arw

Some estimates show the region potentially losing millions of dollars in property value, sharply cutting into the budgets for the Navarro and Seguin school districts, according to appraisers and real estate agents in the region. But right now, appraisers are trying to avoid the area because of the potential, but not surefire, chance of the lake draining. view article arw

The Red Oak Independent School District lowered its tax rate from $1.54 to $1.43835 per $100 of certified property value. The 10-cent decrease was approved by the school board during an Aug. 26 meeting. In a recent press release, officials said the new rate was “due to the reduction in the maintenance and operations fund from $1.17 to $1.06835.” “We value our taxpayers and are fiscally responsible with the funds we are given,” said Chief Financial Officer Bill Johnston in the release. “Red Oak ISD will continue to watch every penny and seek cost savings to further increase staff pay and provide savings to our taxpayers.” view article arw

Those who live in the boundaries of Cameron Independent School District will see their taxes going down slightly in the coming year and teachers will see a significant raise to their paychecks. The CISD Board of Trustees approved the new 2019-20 budget and tax rate during a meeting on Aug. 26. The approved a total tax rate of $1.31 per $100 valuation with a 97 cent maintenance and operations rate and a 34 cent debt service rate. Last year’s tax rate was $1.37 per $100 valuation. The average residence should see about a $40 drop-in taxes. view article arw

Residents here made their voices heard with overwhelming support for the local school district’s tax ratification election, which will provide Clarksville ISD with hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue. In total, 451 people voted for the TRE, roughly 84% of voters, with 85 people voting against it. view article arw

The Center ISD Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year linked to a tax rate that dropped by about 10 cents per $100 of property valuation for property owners in the school district. The total tax rate approved Thursday for the upcoming year was for $1.3121. That is down from the tax rate in effort for the current year of $1.4138 per $100 valuation, a drop of 10.17 cents per $100 valuation. view article arw

PRICE – Tax rates decreased for the upcoming year, but because property evaluations are up, Carlisle ISD taxpayers will pay on the average of $34 more for a property valued near $100,000.  The CISD Board of Trustees set the tax rate at $1.407 per $100 of assessed evaluation, which is down from last year’s rate of $1.52 per $100.  Paywalled view article arw

Residents living in McKinney ISD boundaries can expect to pay a lower tax rate this year. The district board of trustees lowered the tax rate by $0.10165 to $1.48835 per $100 valuation during a meeting Aug. 27. In fiscal year 2018-19, residents paid $1.59 per $100 valuation. view article arw

A week shy of the new Sept. 1 fiscal year, Jacksonville ISD trustees adopted a $55,364,488 budget and the $1.395 tax rate that will generate revenue for it. The newly adopted budget is higher than the previous year due in part to House Bill 3 – legislative action focusing on salaries – as well as higher property values in Cherokee County. The proposed tax rate has decreased in direct response to HB3, with a proposed M&O rate of 97 cents (the portion of the tax rate that decreased by seven cents due to legislative action), while an I&S rate of 42.5 cents remains unchanged. view article arw

At its final meeting in August, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2019-20 General, Child Nutrition, and Debt Service Fund budgets for the district. The Board adopted a balanced budget and lowered the tax rate by 8 cents per $100 in property value. This year’s overall tax rate is reduced from $1.21 to $1.13 for the 2019-20 school year. The 8 cent reduction in the property tax rate benefits the owner of a $200,000 home by lowering the home's annual property tax bill $160. view article arw

Interesting challenge for appraisal districts - js - In the face of the impending drainage of four lakes controlled by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, homeowners and surrounding community members are worried property values could wash away with the lakes. A drop in property values would affect the budgets of local governments and school districts. There aren't any clear answers, however, about what will happen to the value of more than $800 million in property on the lakes once the GBRA begins opening spill gates. view article arw

On August 22nd, 2019, the VISD School Board adopted a new tax rate which is down eighteen cents from last year's rate. view article arw

The additional state funding sent to Texas school districts as part of the 86th Legislature’s House Bill 3 this summer helped lead Elysian Fields ISD trustees to adopt a decreased tax rate and a surplus budget Monday.  Elysian Fields ISD trustees adopted a decreased tax rate of $1.16 per $100 of home valuation on Monday, down from 2018’s adopted tax rate of $1.35 per $100 home valuation. - Paywalled view article arw

School Trustees adopted a $40.5 million budget Monday and set a tax rate that is 7 cents lower than last year. The budget calls for pay raises for teachers and staff ranging from 4.3 to 7.1 percent. For teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses with up to five years experience, that means a $2,000 annual increase. Those with six to 17 years of experience will see a $2,500 increase. And teachers with 18 years experience, will see a $2,800 bump. The increase is $3,200 for 19 years experience and $3,600 for 20 years. Other employees will see a 3 percent increase from the midpoint. view article arw

Both Abilene Independent School District trustees and the Wylie ISD board approved spending and revenue plans for the 2019-20 school year Monday. Property tax rates for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2020, also were established. Abilene ISD taxpayers will pay $1.3214 per $100 valuation after voters approved a $138.7 million construction project in November. Wylie ISD taxpayers, themselves paying off a $45 million bond, will pay $1.197 per $100 valuation. view article arw

Louise ISD taxes dropping 11 cents

August 2808:15 AM

The Louise ISD board of trustees unanimously adopted the 2019-2020 budget and set the tax rate for the school year Monday. In a 6-0 vote, the board approved a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.06835 per $100 valuation. That rate, mandated by House Bill 3 (HB3), is the compressed rate resulting in an 11-cent drop from $1.17. LISD does not levy an interest and sinking rate for any debt at this time. view article arw

Taxpayers in the Kilgore ISD will see an average savings of nearly $84 on their tax bill this year after school trustees on Monday approved a $36.9 million budget for the new school year and lowered their tax rate. The rate adopted unanimously Monday was almost a dime lower than this past year’s rate, which, carried to the last decimal, was $1.3092 per $100 of valuation. view article arw

Karnack ISD trustees earlier this month adopted a slightly surplus general fund budget for the 2019-20 school year, as well as a decreased tax rate.  This year’s total tax rate, made up of only maintenance and operations, is $0.97 per $100 of home valuation. The district’s interest and sinking rate is $0.  Paywalled! view article arw