Tax hike so slight, won’t bite
The Port Aransas ISD expects a budget for next year that’s $1.5 million lower than the current budget, because of reduced property values.
That won’t necessarily mean reductions in staff or programs, however, said district Executive Director of Business and Operations Olivia Mixon.
“We’ll have about the same amount to spend locally. The difference will be in the amount we send to the state as Chapter 41 payments,” she said.
The proposed budget for the coming school year is $19,295,000. That compares with the current budget, as amended, of $20,934,000. And since the school board hasn’t yet approved the proposed budget, it’s still a work in progress, Mixon said.
The board must have the budget approved by the end of this month.
In any case, the percentage of the tax money collected that goes to the state for distribution to less-fortunate school districts remains the same – 72 percent, Mixon said. Because the tax revenue will be lower, that amount will also be lower, she said.
The reason for the drop in budget is simple: When the economy tanked, so did property values. And with lower property values come lower property taxes, the mainstay of the school district’s budget.
Last year, the Nueces County Appraisal District certified Port Aransas property values at about $1.8 billion, Mixon said. This year, that’s down to $1,647,598,706.
Mixon says it’s “way too early” to tell what the tax revenue will be from those property values because the rate of collections varies from year to year. This year, collections have been lower
Letters than usual, however, and she’s guessing that the tax revenue for the district in the coming year will be in the neighborhood of $16 million.
“Approximately,” she added firmly.
The school district normally figures it will collect about 96 percent of the
property taxes owed it – about the same
percentage the City of Port Aransas counts
to the editor on. However, school board President Chuck Borders told the South Jetty in June that the tax collection rate for the district currently stands at 93-94 percent.
It only takes one or two percentage points’ drop in the collection rate to make a significant impact on the budget,
The district’s tax rate for maintenance
editor and operations won’t change, remaining at $1.0133 per $100 property valuation for the coming year. The tax rate for debt service will go up from 4.5 cents per $100 to 4.9 cents per $100, however.
That will bring next year’s total tax rate to $1.0623 per $100, up from this year’s $1.0583.
“That’s not enough to be noticeable to the average taxpayer,” Mixon said.