Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge voters approve new BISD tax structure

August 25
21:59 2018

Breckenridge Independent School District’s tax ratification election passed with 292 votes in favor of the new tax structure and 80 votes against it.

“I think it’s good for our school, our staff, our kids,” said BISD Superintendent Tim Seymore. “I appreciate the community’s belief and support in what we’re doing. It shows we’re on the right track.”

The approval of the new tax rate means that the school district will be eligible for additional state funds. In order to qualify for the extra money, the school district needed to rearrange the tax structure in what is known as a “tax swap” or “penny swap.”

The school district is eligible for the funds – which could add as much as $270,000 to the BISD coffers – but only if the BISD Maintenance and Operations tax rate is at least $1.17, according to Seymore.

The current BISD M&O is $1.04. However, when it is combined with the school district’s Interest and Sinking tax of $0.1285, the total school tax rate that local property owners pay is almost $1.17 ($1.1685) per $100 property valuation. The M&O funds pay for the district’s expenses, including salaries, utility bills, etc. The I&S tax revenue is used to make the payment for the bonds that were approved by voters several years ago to build the new high school gym and the addition to East Elementary.

To qualify for the extra funds, the school board agreed to raise the M&O tax rate to $1.17 while eliminating the I&S tax. That way, the school district can get the additional money from the state, and the taxpayers can maintain a total tax rate of $1.17. Under the newly approved plan, the bond payment will be paid with the M&O tax funds, Seymore said.

However, the school district was not allowed by law to raise the M&O tax above the current $1.04 rate without approval from local voters. Therefore, the school board scheduled today’s Tax Ratification Election, officially requesting permission from local taxpayers to raise the M&O tax rate to $1.17.

The BISD Board of Trustees will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the administration building, 212 N. Miller St., to certify and canvass the election results and to hold a public budget hearing.

Immediately following that meeting, the school board will hold another meeting at 6:30 p.m. to adopt the 2018-19 district budget.

For more details on the BISD tax rate structure, read the earlier Breckenridge Texan article , “Change to BISD tax rate structure could bring in more revenue without raising taxes.”

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/ Breckenridge Texan

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