Pflugerville ISD trustees cap tax rate at $1.54, plan to set exact rate in future

At Thursday night's Pflugerville ISD board meeting, trustees voted to prepare for budget considerations by starting discussions about the 2017-18 tax rate.

Trustees began this discussion by setting a cap on the tax rate, without actually setting an exact rate. The board members voted to cap the maintenance and operations tax rate at $1.04 and the sinking and interest rate—which pays back debt from bonds—at $0.50 for a combined maximum of $1.54 per $100 valuation. This is the same as the tax rate set for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

At a future August budget meeting, the trustees will set the exact rate, but it will not exceed $1.54.

The trustees also discussed the impending status change of the district from a Chapter 42 district to a Chapter 41 district. This change means PfISD officially becomes subject to recapture payments to the state in the coming school year because of rising property value.

This change actually has little to no impact on PfISD, as CFO Kenneth Adix pointed out. State law mandates Chapter 41 districts make recapture payments once they charge an M&O tax rate at or above $1.07. Because PfISD's tax rate will not exceed $1.04, the district is not at risk of having to make these recapture payments.

Trustees expressed frustration at the state government for failing to produce a more equitable funding formula for public schools.

"Every year the state simply blames school districts for taxing you, pats themselves on the back and takes your money," Trustee Carol Fletcher said.  "That's essentially what they do and that does not go back to the bottom line of Pflugerville ISD."

The district will hold a public meeting on the budget on Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the PfISD Administration Building.