Carroll ISD might be joining the ranks of Keller ISD after the school board’s robust discussion about making recapture payments Sept. 11. KISD voted Sept. 11 to withhold its 2024-25 recapture payment.

“We don’t know,” Board President Cameron Bryan responded when asked by Place 6 Trustee Alex Sexton where the recapture money goes that the district sends back to the state. “It’s a black hole.”

The details

According to, recapture allows legislators to take excess local property tax dollars from school districts and use it to help balance the state budget. For the 2023-24 school year, Carroll ISD sent $18.9 million in recapture money back to the state.

The backstory

During the Sept. 11 meeting, Bryan said that in April, the board passed a resolution to appeal to the Legislature to compel the Texas comptroller of public accounts and the Texas Education Agency to delineate specifically the amount of funds collected as part of recapture that are directly spent in meeting the goal of wealth equalization among school districts in the state.

Bryan added that the resolution directed Superintendent Lane Ledbetter to send copies of the resolution to various members of the Legislature including the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house and elected officials that represent Carroll ISD.

During the meeting, Ledbetter said he had not received any responses from state officials regarding the resolution.

“School districts around the state, especially recapture districts like us, are struggling to make ends meet, yet we blindly send a third of our property taxes to the state unaccounted for,” Bryan said. “I personally do not feel compelled to make this payment in the future until such time as we receive an answer to where our money is going and the Legislature addresses the funding gap at ISDs around this great state.”

What they’re saying

During the discussion, Sexton voiced his concern about the possibility of withholding the district’s recapture payment.

“If we were to pass this resolution, I think we’re saying in plain English [to the state] that we’re not going to pay you, and that could come with some consequences,” Sexton said.

As part of his response to Sexton, Bryan talked about how other districts around the state are withholding their recapture payments.

“If [the state comptroller] can’t tell us where [the money] is going, then why are we paying him?” Bryan said. “Let’s take a stand for something that’s meaningful that other districts around the state are willing to take a stand for. Enough is enough.”

The potential impact

Should a district choose to withhold its recapture payments, there are consequences, according to TEA. These potential repercussions include:
  • Districts can be prevented from adopting new tax rates.
  • Districts can have taxable property detached from their district and given to other nearby districts to level out tax revenues.
  • The state can withhold funding from districts that don't make recapture payments.
While no action was taken during the recapture discussion Sept. 11, CISD board members said that the issue could come up again at their next board meeting Sept. 18.