School eyes drop in tax rate
The Port Aransas Independent School District is set to possibly lower its tax rate by about 34 cents.
PAISD Superintendent Billy Wiggins said he will recommend to the Board of Trustees that the rate be set at $1.05838 per $100 valuation. That's about 34 cents less than last year's rate - partly because of requirements in House Bill 1, passed last year, Wiggins said. It's also because appraised property values in Port Aransas have gone up again, which means it doesn't take such a high tax rate for the school district to make bond payments, he said.
The average market value of a home in PAISD was $201,623, according to school district administration. This year, it's $243,707.
While total the school district's total revenue was $17,476,600 last year, it's projected to be about $16,516,780 this year.
Wiggins said trustees will hold a public hear- ing and vote on the 2007-08 budget sometime soon. That time and date of that meeting was not set in stone at press time, but Wiggins said it likely would be scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the district's central administration office, 100 S. Station St. Trustees likely would hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed tax rate during the same meeting, Wiggins said.
State Robin Hood laws that require property-rich school districts to share revenue with poorer districts meant PAISD had to send away $12,856,001 last year. This year, PAISD is projected to be sending away $12,836,247.
While PAISD's tax rate is dropping a lot, its revenue will remain about the same because contributions by the state makes up the difference, Wiggins said.
This year's budget doesn't pay for anything significantly different from last year's budget, Wiggins said, except for previously announced teacher pay raises averaging 4 percent each and skyrocketing electric bills the district expects to be paying during the 2007-08 school year.
PAISD was paying 5 cents per kilowatt hour last school year, which translated to bills of about $17,000 for the entire three-campus district each month, according to school district administration. The district expects to be paying double that amount this year, because electric utilities are charging more, Wiggins said.