College Station ISD proposes lowering tax rate

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Budget documents released Friday by College Station ISD say in spite of growing enrollment, the district hopes to reduce its tax rate by nearly 10% in the 2019-2020 budget.

The district has proposed a total tax rate of $1.239 per one hundred dollars in taxable property value. That tax rate services a maintenance and operations budget of $0.97 and a debt service payment of $0.269.

The proposed tax rate is a 9.693% decrease in the tax rate from 2018-2019.

College Station ISD cites several circumstances for being able to reduce the tax rate for this budget year.

Overall, the district is collecting more money on the properties within its boundaries. College Station ISD’s total taxable property values increased in 2019 by 5% from 2018. Over the past five years, the district reports an average rate increase of 8.45% in freeze adjusted taxable property values.

Changes from the state capital were a major factor in setting the tax rate, too. The district calls this year’s 86th legislature’s public school finance reform “the most consequential public school finance reform since 1993.” In 2020, the state will take on an estimated 45% of public education funding, up from 38% in 2019.

College Station ISD says at the same time, their recapture payments will shift from $14.3 million in 2019 to nothing in 2020. Statewide, recapture payments are down 47%.

The district also continues to gain enrollment, in spite of the opening of International Leadership of Texas’s College Station charter school in 2018.

College Station ISD says their trend of “steady growth in enrollment over the last ten years” will continue, projecting a 2.9% increase in enrollment in 2019. That growth, however, is moderate enough that the district does not believe an additional construction bond will be necessary for the next two years.

A public hearing to discuss the proposed budget and tax rate is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, in the College Station ISD boardroom.

College Station ISD Board of Trustees members previously held budget workshops for the 2019 budget on March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18, and July 16, 2019. A memo from Deputy Superintendent Mike Martindale says campus administrators, employee groups and central office administrators all provided input on the budget development process.

College Station ISD’s budget year begins September 1, 2019.