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College Station School Board Adopts Budget And Tax Rate, And Takes No Action On Proposed Land Purchase

There were just enough College Station school board members Tuesday night to conduct business.

Four of the seven members…Jeff Harris, Quinn Williams, Michael Schaefer, and Geralyn Nolan…were on hand to adopt the 2019-2020 budget and tax rate.

A fifth member, Mike Nugent, arrived in time to allow Harris to recuse himself on the purchase of computer servers using money from CSISD’s 2015 bond issue.

Nugent’s appearance also allowed Schaefer to recuse himself from the board’s executive session discussion about the proposed purchase of land. The board returned from the closed door gathering without voting on the more than $2.5 million dollar purchase of 41 acres at 2441 Arrington Road, which is between Indian Lakes and Windham Ranch Roads. Funding for the proposed purchase would have come from CSISD’s 2015 bond issue. According to a CSISD news release, the board could revisit the item next month.

Additional information provided by CSISD on the 2019-2020 school year budget and tax rate:

The passing of HB 3 earlier this year by the legislature infused $11.6 billion into the state budget for school funding and property tax reduction. The new legislation created a net addition of approximately $6 million in the CSISD budget by decreasing the district’s projected recapture payment back to the state from $18 million to $0 and compressing the maintenance and operations tax rate from $1.04 to $0.97.

With the new funding system in place, CSISD was able to give substantial raises to all employees through next year’s compensation plan, which was passed by the board in June. In addition, CSISD was able add several needed positions — many to meet increasing needs in special education.

The changes in school funding, coupled with the aggressive compensation plan and the addition of new positions totals to a projected deficit budget of approximately $3.384 million, which will be covered by the district’s $37 million fund balance, or savings account.

CSISD adopted a budget with a deficit of $4.6 million for the 2018-2019 school year and is currently tracking at a lower deficit of approximately $2 million.

The board approved an overall tax rate of $1.239 per $100 of taxable property value, a decrease of 13.3 cents (9.7%).

HB 3 compressed the maintenance and operations rate from $1.04 to $0.97. In addition, the interest and sinking tax rate was lowered from $0.332 to $0.269. The I&S rate decreased to the district paying off some of its previous debt, coupled with the rising property value total within the district boundaries.

A homeowner with an appraised home value of $300,000 would see a savings of $365 annually due to the lower tax rate.

CSISD lowered the rate last year by 2.6 cents, totaling a rate decrease of 15.9 cents (11.4%) over the last two years.

CSISD tax rates for the last six years:

2019 – 2020 FY: 1.2390
2018 – 2019 FY: 1.3720
2017 – 2018 FY: 1.3980
2016 – 2017 FY: 1.3960
2015 – 2016 FY: 1.3629
2014 – 2015 FY: 1.3800

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Posted by on Aug 21 2019. Filed under Featured Stories, Local News for Newsletter, News.
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