Bryan tax rate changing, 'golden pennies' coming to BISD

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.

Only 2.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots for this special election. Out of a total of 1,251 votes cast, 91% supported the idea of a new property tax rate that is 1 cent lower than last year's tax rate.

Last year, the total rate was $1.35 per $100 valuation -- 31 cents for I&S rate and $1.04 for the M&O rate. The district has now lowered the I&S rate by 3 cents, and received voter approval Tuesday night to raise the M&O rate by 2 cents.

That change is expected to bring in millions more in state funding with what are called "golden pennies"

"We are deeply appreciative of our community’s support,” Bryan ISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck said. “Tonight’s projected result means millions of dollars in additional state revenue are available to support Bryan schools. Local voters have forced the state to put additional funds into Bryan ISD. We thank our community for supporting a high-quality education for students and a high-value career for teachers. We thank the dedicated individuals who came out and expressed your voice through your vote.”

Tax experts say this new rate could save property owners at least $10 a year for a $100,000 home.