Weatherford Democrat

Local News

July 27, 2012

School districts get closer to deciding taxes

PARKER COUNTY — Two Parker County school districts are getting closer to deciding their tax rate and budgets for the next fiscal year.

The Millsap ISD school board approved Monday posting the district’s proposed tax rate for 2012-13, which is $1.665 per $100 of taxable property value.

The proposed tax rate includes $1.17 per $100 taxable value for maintenance and operations combined with the district’s 49.5 cents interest-and-sinking rate. These rates are the same as the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school year rates.

MISD Superintendent David Belding said they would post a draft budget online in early August, after certified property values come in this week.

MISD trustees approved Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. as their public meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate.

Belding said the district is in good shape with tax collections and appear to be hitting the budget for the current year, which is coming to a close at the end of August.

“Like everybody else, we’re tight,” he said of the budget.

Also on Monday, Springtown ISD had its first dicussion regarding a proposed tax rate with board members, as superintendent Mike Kelley and Springtown chief financial officer Gary Shaw presented a ballpark figure to trustees.

“We pitched a number to the board to just get the wheels turning for next month’s meeting,” Kelley said. “We’re close [to nailing down a solid number] but right now it’s just a ballpark figure.”

Shaw presented the idea of raising the property tax rate as a defense against decreasing property values around the district.

Official appraisal values were released Wednesday, and Shaw would be able to add them to the other figures and get more of an idea of Springtown’s position next week, Kelley said.

Springtown ISD’s current tax rate is set at $1.50 per $100 value, but student enrollment as well as appraisal value will play a role in what the district decides to do for the coming school year.

“There’s a thought that property values might be a little down this time around,” Kelley said. “Over the last several years, we’ve had significant double-digit increases, so I don’t think they’ll be significant drops.”

Shaw presented the idea of raising property taxes by almost four cents per $100.

“That target is dependent on enrollment,” Kelley explained. “If [enrollment] goes up, the money generated per student will help offset lower property values. But if the values decline and we lose students, the issues will be compounded.”

Kelley said the district has seen a spike in student enrollment in September the last several years, and that last year’s enrollment was as level as it has been.

“If the pattern holds and if we have leveled off and the spike we see every September continues, we will have some growth to help us fiscally,” he said. “We’d all like a good, concrete number, and we’ll have a better idea come Monday.”

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