San Angelo ISD Reduces Property Tax Rate 8 Cents
SAN ANGELO, TX — At its final meeting in August, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2019-20 General, Child Nutrition, and Debt Service Fund budgets for the district. The Board adopted a balanced budget and lowered the tax rate by 8 cents per $100 in property value. This year’s overall tax rate is reduced from $1.21 to $1.13 for the 2019-20 school year.
The 8 cent reduction in the property tax rate benefits the owner of a $200,000 home by lowering the home's annual property tax bill $160.
Dr. Jeff Bright, Assistant Superintendent of Business Support Services, stated, “The district benefited greatly from an increase in state funds. With that increase the district was able to place nurses or medical assistants on every campus, continue a strong district-wide academic initiative that has become a priority of the Board, and put in motion a 1:1 technology device plan for all secondary students that will roll out at the start of school next year.”
San Angelo ISD's actions are a result of sweeping school finance reforms enacted by the Texas Legislature during the 2019 session. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law June 11. For school districts, the law increased the amount of money the State pays districts annually from 38 percent to 45 percent in the M&O portion of the tax rate. Across the State, lawmakers believe the reforms will provide $5 billion in property tax relief. About an 8 cent reduction in property tax rates this year is what lawmakers estimated the impact of the law would be for each district. More relief is on the way. By 2021, lawmakers estimate the total reduction should be in the neighborhood of 13 cents per $100 in property value. Local school districts like the San Angelo ISD set their own tax rate for Maintenance and Operations, or M&O.
About $2 billion from the State was allocated for pay raises for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses across all school districts in Texas. The proposed $5,000 raise for every teacher was shelved in favor of allocating that money to districts to create merit-based incentive programs that are not required to be tied to standardized test results.
The law also reduced the amount of money from taxpayers in wealthier districts that was to be surrendered to the State for redistribution to poorer districts. San Angelo ISD was not impacted by these clawbacks commonly referred to as "Robin Hood."
State Rep. Drew Darby told us the school finance reforms gave the San Angelo ISD about $11 million in additional funding for FY 2019. He estimated the district will get $13 million in FY 2021. Darby said that each of the 24 school districts in House District 72 received additional funding this fiscal year. (See all of Darby's remarks in this video interview at this month's West Texas Legislative Summit. His discussion of HB 3 and school finance reform begins at 17:50 into the interview).
Dr. Bright added, “The district is currently in a strong financial position, and the Board has approved moving forward on several capital projects for this budget cycle. These projects are needed, and we are excited to be able to pursue them.”
Since the $150 million bond issue failed last year, the Interest and Sinking, or I&O portion of the San Angelo ISD tax rate will remain the same this fiscal year.
Although a San Angelo ISD spokesman said it would like to meet every one of its capital project needs immediately, the district must prioritize based on urgency, and pursue each project as funding is available over the next several years.
"San Angelo Independent School District will continue to utilize its human capital and fiscal resources to engage all students in a relevant and inspiring education that produces future-ready graduates," the District stated.
Recommended for You
Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily newsletter, The LIVE! Daily.