"This is the lowest tax rate we've had in at least the 20-year history that I've had available to me since 2017," district Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Smith said at a Sept. 28 board meeting.
The FISD board of trustees approved a rate of $1.3102 per $100 property valuation at the Sept. 28 special meeting. The FY 2020-21 tax rate marks a $0.0281 reduction from 2019.
The maintenance and operations portion of the approved tax rate, which pays for operational expenses, is $1.0402. The interest and sinking portion, which goes towards debt and interest payments, is $0.27.
The decreased tax rate will save the average FISD taxpayer around $92 this year, Smith said.
FISD approved its budget for the 2020-21 school year in June. The budget was based on a slightly lower taxable value growth, per an FISD release.
Higher-than-anticipated certified values will result in a $3.8 million loss of revenue to the district this fiscal year, according to Smith.
"We did budget a significant surplus for this budget year because we weren't sure what was going to happen due to COVID[-19], enrollment, taxable values [and] expenses related to COVID mitigation," she said. "We just felt it was be reasonable to keep a nice cushion in there, and so this just kind of erodes some of that surplus we had projected."
Board member Anne McCausland said she believes the district was smart to give itself a cushion going into the upcoming Texas legislative session.
"I suspect that it's not going to be as rosy for public education as it was in 2019," McCausland said at the meeting.