Liberty Hill ISD may ask voters to approve an increase to the district’s tax rate for fiscal year 2024-25.

District officials discussed the revenue for the district and the cost to taxpayers associated with various tax rate increases during a budget workshop at a May 6 special meeting. The district is projecting a $5 million budget shortfall for FY 2024-25 and a $2 million shortfall this fiscal year, Chief Financial Officer Rosanna Guerrero said.

By the numbers

The district is projecting to adopt a maintenance and operations tax rate of $0.6669 per $100 valuation, which would cost homeowners $3,082 in taxes a year based on the area’s median home value of $462,264, Guerrero said.

While this proposed rate is lower than the FY 2023-24 M&O tax rate of $0.6692 due to compression from the state, Guerrero said the district is looking at the following tax rate increases, which would provide additional revenue to the district at a higher cost to homeowners.

The district would need to hold a voter-approval tax rate election, or VATRE, to adopt a M&O tax rate higher than $0.6669, Guerrero said. A M&O tax rate above $0.6969 would require the district to begin paying recapture back to the state if it is approved through a VATRE and an attendance credit election.

The interest and sinking tax rate will remain at $0.50 per $100 valuation, Guerrero said.

What they're saying

"It's been four years, and no additional funding to the basic allotment," Guerrero said about the state funding per student. "It just goes to show that this is something that is just not affordable. We've seen vast inflation from 2019 to now ... and districts statewide are facing this."

Also of note

The district has $8.9 billion in taxable property values, according to the Williamson County Appraisal District, Guerrero said. The district lost $416 million in taxable property values due to the homestead exemption being raised from $40,000 to $100,000.

Property tax values are broken down by following development types:
  • 81.15% residential
  • 6.24% commercial
  • 12.11% undeveloped land
  • 0.05% multi-family
The residential median home value in LHISD peaked in 2022 at $530,272 and decreased over the past two years while remaining higher than the residential median home value in Williamson County, district information shows.

What’s next?

The district is currently working to inform and survey staff on the proposed budget for next fiscal year, including feedback on ways the district could save costs, Guerrero said. District officials will present recommended cost savings measures to the board in May and recommendations for staff salaries and benefits in June, according to district information.

The district will seek to educate community members on its budget through social media, newsletters, educational videos and a new webpage, Guerrero said. The district will hold a publicity campaign to inform community members if it needs to raise the tax rate, Superintendent Steven Snell said.