Huntsville ISD asking voters to consider change in district tax rate

HUNTSVILLE, Tex. (KBTX)- The Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees are asking voters to consider a change how they collect school district taxes to maximize their state funding.

The proposed change would bring the district an estimated $750,000, or more, in additional state revenue annually without increasing the overall total tax rate for the school district.

Currently, HISD's tax rate stands at $1.18 which is distributed in two parts, Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S).

Maintenance and Operations (M&O) pays for daily operations including salaries, instructional materials, student resources, facility maintenance and operational expenses. Interest and Sinking (I&S) is much like a home mortgage, and can only be used to pay for the district's annual debt payments on voter-approved bonds.

Right now, HISD has $1.04 in the M&O and $0.14 in the I&S.

M&O pennies are worth more, and generate more funding than I&S pennies, so by moving 6 pennies from the I&S side to the M&O side the district would receive an estimated $750,000, or more, in state revenue from Austin.

Through a voter approved Tax Ratification Election (TRE), or "Penny Exchange," HISD could make this 6 penny move without changing the overall school district total tax rate which is currently set at $1.18.

The district is asking tax payers to approve the transfer of the pennies, and if approved, the district will then receive an additional $750,000 annually from the state.

The proposal on the ballot is to seek voter approval for the 6 cent increase to the M&O tax rate making it $1.10 for the purpose of generating additional local and state revenue for district maintenance and operations.

Early Voting continues thru Friday, November 3rd at the Walker County Annex from 8 AM to 5 PM.