Homeowners in Austin district to pay 10% more in school taxes


Highlights

Austin’s school board adopted a tax rate of $1.192 per $100 valuation, one of the lowest among area districts.

The tax rate remained flat, but taxpayers will shell out more as their home values increase.

About $1,700 of the average $4,291 district tax bill will go to the state to subsidize other Texas districts.

The owner of the average home in the Austin school district will shell out $374 more this year in property taxes for schools.

Austin school trustees on Monday night adopted the district’s 2017-18 school tax rate, which remains unchanged from last year. But the owner of the average taxable value home will pay $4,291, an increase of $374 over last year, because the average taxable value of a home in the district rose 10 percent to $359,947.

The school board adopted a tax rate of $1.192, with $1.079 for maintenance and operations and 11.3 cents for debt repayment, per $100 valuation. It’s one of the lowest tax rates among Central Texas school districts.

The school board in June adopted its 2017-18 budget of nearly $1.5 billion, including an operating budget of $914.1 million. The budget includes employee raises of 1.5 percent, which totals more than $8.5 million, creating a dyslexia project at Covington Middle School, launching a Montessori program at Winn Elementary and expanding early college high schools.

The district also is expected to dole out $534 million — about $1,700 of the average Austin homeowner’s property tax bill for schools — for the mandatory recapture payment to the state. The state’s school finance system requires districts with high property values, such as Austin, to subsidize districts in areas with low property values. Austin pays the most of any district in the state, and its payments have more than doubled in the past five years.

The upcoming recapture payment increased 32 percent, or by $127.8 million, over last year.

“It’s a sad state of affairs that the state has put us into,” Trustee Julie Cowan said. “It’s a real shame when we have so many needs … that we’re having to give away so much money to the state because they cannot seem to put together a solvent school finance system.”

The Austin district won’t get any additional money under a new law that infused some districts with extra funding. The bill, however, creates a commission to study and make recommendations for changes to the state’s school funding system.

Locally, a proposal to reduce the recapture payment and provide taxpayers some relief with a tax swap between the city of Austin and the school district fizzled last week. Mayor Steve Adler said he won’t pursue a tax swap with the district this year, but there’s still a chance the option could get another look next year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Will Ted Cruz deal the final blow to GOP health care bill?
Will Ted Cruz deal the final blow to GOP health care bill?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said Sunday that he is not yet ready to vote for the last-ditch Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, jeopardizing the bill’s already slender chances of passage. “Right now they don’t have my vote, and I don’t think they have (Utah Sen.) Mike Lee’s either,” Cruz said at a joint appearance...
Here’s what’s funny about assuming commuters’ habits will change
Here’s what’s funny about assuming commuters’ habits will change

I’ll cut right to the punchline of a joke that I’ve always loved: “Let’s you and him get into a fight.” The speaker, of course, being the one who plans to emerge from the fracas unscathed and, presumably, rid of a looming threat in the person of “him.” That joke came to mind as I listened Saturday morning to...
Teaxs Digest: City Hall shooting suspect identified

NORTH TEXAS Police ID suspect in City Hall shooting Authorities have released the name of a 62-year-old man suspected of confronting officers at a tiny North Texas town’s City Hall with a rifle. Bobby Darryl Chamberlain of Josephine remains hospitalized with wounds that are not life-threatening, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public...
RIGHT NOW: Crash closes northbound I-35 near Riverside
RIGHT NOW: Crash closes northbound I-35 near Riverside

Austin police are asking drivers to avoid the area around Interstate 35 and Riverside Drive Sunday afternoon after a crash closed several northbound lanes of traffic. Police tweeted about the crash at 4:30 p.m. Sunday but did not have further details to provide. Officials have said only one northbound lane is currently open, and drivers are urged to...
WEATHER: Southwest Texas faces chance of flash flooding
WEATHER: Southwest Texas faces chance of flash flooding

Portions of Texas will see heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding from Monday afternoon through Thursday morning, with rainfall largely focused on the Rio Grande Plains and the southern Edwards Plateau along U.S. 183 according to the National Weather Service. The Austin area is expected to see about an inch of rain. Rainfall will most likely be heaviest...
More Stories