POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 8:14pm
Longview, TX — Spring Hill ISD’s board of trustees approved a budget of $16.725 million for the 2012-13 school year at its Monday evening meeting.
The budget is based on the current tax rate of $1.54 per $100 valuation and would require the use of $703,000 from the district’s fund balance, said Barbara Shurbet, business manager for the district.
However, the district has called a Tax Ratification Election — TRE — for Sept. 15. If approved by voters, this would allow the board to raise the tax rate to $1.67 per $100 valuation.
“If the TRE is approved, the board would, effectively, be repaying itself for the money it used from the fund balance,” Shurbet said. “If the voters reject the proposal, the board will have to seek other ways to fund its budget in upcoming years.”
If approved, the annual taxes on a home valued at $152,000, the district average, would increase about $200 annually from $2,347 per year to $2,546 per year. The taxes on homesteads of district residents who are older than 65 or disabled would not increase.
Superintendent Wes Jones said Spring Hill is in the lowest 6 percent of state funding on a per pupil basis. The district lost $1.3 million in state and federal funding for the 2011-12 school year.
“We’ve reduced supplies and cut funding for field trips, staff development and some positions,” Jones said. “The TRE gives taxpayers an opportunity to decide how they want the district to be funded.”
The district would receive an additional $85 in state funding for every $100 it collected in additional local taxes by raising the tax rate by 13 cents, he said. Another option being considered for increasing revenue is eliminating the optional 15 percent homestead exemption. This could be done by a board vote; it would not require an election.
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