Four more school districts asking voters for more money


Highlights

The Leander school district has called a $454 million bond election; Bastrop’s is $88.5 million.

The Lake Travis school district bond measure is $253 million; Eanes asking voters for a tax swap.

In addition to the Austin school district’s $1.05 billion bond election, four other Central Texas school districts will also ask voters on Nov. 7 for more money.

Leander

The Leander school district has called a $454 million bond election to fund four new schools; nine purchases of land for schools; design work for two other secondary schools; second transportation facility and new buses; secure entrances at the secondary schools’ and various expansion and maintenance projects, among other things.

RELATED: Austin ISD is banking on bond to boost enrollment, turn around schools

While the tax rate remains the same at $1.51 per $100 of assessed value, with $1.04 for operation and 47 cents for debt repayment, the average homeowner will likely pay more. The average taxable home value increased $21,600 over last year. School taxes on the average taxable home valued at $310,769 would equal $4,698.42, a $326.64 increase over last year.

Bastrop

The Bastrop school district will ask voters to approve $88.5 million in bonds to convert district buildings into new schools, including a third middle school and seventh elementary school. It also would pay to expand the high and middle schools, among other improvements.

The bond measure is expected to increase the district’s property tax rate by 2.05 cents, from $1.441 per $100 property valuation to $1.4615. The average school district homeowner with property valued at $143,079 would see a tax increase of $24.21 next year, assuming a homestead tax exemption, according to school district data.

RELATED: Diverse group of opponents rally against Austin ISD’s $1.1 billion bond

That figure does not take into account possible increases to property valuations, which increased by 14 percent this year and by nearly 14 percent last year on average in Bastrop County.

Lake Travis

The Lake Travis school district bond measure is $253 million, which includes funding for a seventh elementary school and a third middle school. A portion of the bond will also go toward installing new seat belts in all its school buses.

Additionally, the district is asking voters to approve a “tax swap” in its tax rate. The school district tax rate is made up of two different rates – “interest and sinking,” which goes to pay for repaying bonds and “maintenance and operation,” which goes to pay for the day-to-day operations of a school district. If voters approve the “swap,” two cents from the “interest and sinking” tax rate would move to the “maintenance and operation” tax rate. That allows the school district to earn an additional $2.1 million to run their schools.

Also, the school district doesn’t have to make recapture payments to the state on the $2.1 million; property wealthy school districts like Lake Travis have to pay recapture to the state to help support property poor school districts. Neither the bond or the tax swap would affect the overall tax rate that property owners will pay.

Eanes

The Eanes school district is asking voters to do the same as Lake Travis, except if the tax swap is approved, the overall tax rate would drop from $1.2125 per $100 property valuation to $1.20. The “interest and sinking” tax rate would reduce by 3.25 cents, two cents of which would move to increase the “maintenance and operation” tax rate.

The move will result in $3 million more for the school district that isn’t subject to recapture payments.



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