Eanes, Lake Travis ISDs seek ways to offset loss of state funding

Trustees discussed possible tax ratification elections this November as a result of a penny exchange. 

A penny exchange allows a school district to move 2 cents from its interest and sinking tax rate, which is subject to state recapture, into its maintenance and operations tax rate, which is not subject to recapture for amounts over $1 per $100 of valuation, said Chris Scott, Eanes ISD executive director for business services. This allows a district to retain more money without increasing the tax rate. 

On June 20, the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees reviewed a timeline for calling the TRE. A Nov. 7 election would be triggered if the board votes to increase the maintenance and operations tax when setting the tax rate Aug. 15, said Johnny Hill, LTISD’s assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services.

A tax ratification election would generate an additional $2.1 million for the district, which could offset an anticipated loss of state funding, he said.

EISD trustees discussed a tax ratification election June 6, and could also elect to pursue a penny exchange when setting the district’s tax rate Aug. 22.

EISD Superintendent Tom Leonard said the penny exchange would add about $2.8 million back into the district’s budget, which could go toward staffing and increasing teacher salaries for the 2018-19 school year.