Eanes ISD discusses financial consequences of House Bill 3

The Eanes ISD board of trustees addressed the implications of House Bill 3 during an Aug. 27 meeting.

The Eanes ISD board of trustees addressed the implications of House Bill 3 during an Aug. 27 meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard led the discussion on the financial implications of House Bill 3 during an Aug. 27 meeting. According to him, many people have been trying to figure out what HB 3 will mean for the district.

“Like most things in the life there’s some good, there’s some bad and there’s some ugly,” said Leonard.

Residents could see a decrease in school property taxes as a result of HB 3, according to Leonard, who added residents under the age of 65 will likely pay less or an equal amount of property taxes when compared to 2018-19.

“If the value of your home went up 6%, you’ll probably stay flat; without HB 3 they would have gone up,” said Leonard, adding that if the value of your home decreased, you'll likely see a decrease in school property tax.

Financial impact

HB 3 is also likely to decrease the amount of money EISD will send back to Texas’ recapture system. Eanes’ recapture rate is set at 66%, but will likely decrease to 61%. The district sent about $102.1 million to recapture for the 2019-20 school year. 

However, Chief Financial Officer Chris Scott believes the recapture rate will increase in the future, due to the apparent lack of sustainability in HB 3’s formula. 

The recapture system, originally created as an attempt to equalize Texas' public education system, requires districts with high property value per student to send a portion of their property tax revenue back to the state.

“The amount of money going to recapture goes down, but most of that money that we won’t be sending to recapture will go towards the tax cap,” said Leonard. 

The tax cap, as laid out in Senate Bill 2, limits property tax revenue growth at 2.5% year over year; any higher increase would require voter approval.

"Schools, at least in Texas, are predominantly funded by local property tax revenue. You can’t continue to cap those rates without providing additional funding," said Leonard, adding that currently, the state has no plan to make up for that loss. 

Salary increases

Passage of HB 3—specifically its basic allotment increase rule—also mandated minimum salary increases. Each district received a different amount of money for those salary adjustments, with funds based district rates of socioeconomic status and growth.

Eanes received less money than Leander ISD, Lake Travis ISD and Austin ISD, according to Leonard’s presentation, but EISD ultimately decided on a 4.5% raise across the board.

Leonard recognized that in certain cases, teachers in neighboring districts deal with a more challenging population. “But my teachers," he said, "are driving the same roads, going to the same grocery stores and paying the same rent.” 

Fiscal responsibility is important to the district and community. However, so are ideal class sizes, adequate learning materials and the ability to attract and retain talented staff, Leonard said. 
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Under the city of Austin's phased enforcement plan released May 10, citations at public encampments will begin in mid-June to be followed by arrests and clearances in July as necessary. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's homeless ordinances back on books May 11, but arrests, camp clearings won't start until July

Austin announced a "phased process" to introduce Proposition B ordinances beginning with one month of outreach followed by one month of warnings and citations before arrests or clearances begin as necessary.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopened to the public in April. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopens in Austin; turf fields open in Pflugerville and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Heather Sánchez
Leander ISD hires new area superintendent

Heather Sánchez will be a new area superintendent at Leander ISD.

Eanes ISD trustees will meet May 11 for a special-called board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Diversity, equity and inclusion report, budget updates and mask policy on May 11 Eanes ISD agenda

The Eanes ISD board of trustees is scheduled to meet May 11 for a special-called meeting at the district’s Central Administration Building.

Succulent plants, like these agave, or century plants, at the Hill Country Galleria, were severely damaged by the 2021 winter storm. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper).
Assessing true damage to Hill Country landscapes to take time

Industry experts conducting survey to tally impact of historic winter storm.

From left: Peter Keilty and Chris Abramson of Bees for All tend to one of their hives. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bees for All teaches the importance of local pollinators

Local business produces honey from seven hives on a 5-acres site.

Chacasso (pictured) and Micah Pearman own Flip'N Art, a custom art business in Bee Cave.
Lake Travis area becomes unlikely home to a growing arts scene

“Arts are the light coming out of the darkness. You need to see the beauty around us and the beauty that we can all create, and we’re just hungry for connection.” Kat Albert said. “For us, it’s not just about seeing something beautiful. It’s about having that interaction with another human that makes you feel alive.”

Utility work is related to ongoing construction of a bypass of RM 2222 and RM 620. (Courtesy Fotolia)
TxDOT lane closure scheduled for RM 620 beginning May 9

Drivers in west Travis County headed southbound on RM 620 should expect delays beginning at RM 2222 to Steiner Ranch Boulevard on May 9 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Work crews with the Texas Department of Transportation will have the right lane closed due to utility work.

Tents have become a common sight throughout Austin including along Cesar Chavez Street downtown, but with the passage of Proposition B the city may now consider moving unsheltered homeless individuals to designated sites. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Designated campsites for the homeless are back on the table

City staff had previously dismissed developing official camping locations in 2019, but new directives from City Council this week could revive the concept in Austin.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.