The lower tax rate is a result of the third round of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund, which is meant to address learning loss and costs incurred during the pandemic. MISD received about $16.5 million in federal funding.
ESSER funds were introduced through three pieces of legislation and are administered by the Texas Education Agency. The TEA used the first two rounds—distributed in March and December of last year—to replace state aid from fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The third round is the first time that MISD will receive additional funding.
While districts are required to spend at least 20% of the funds to remedy academic setbacks, the rest can be spent on other needs. ESSER III allowed MISD to lower the tax rate more than initially projected.
Originally, the district planned to access the Voter Approved Tax Rate Election, which passed in May by more than 65%. This would have resulted in a total tax rate decrease of $0.03. However, ESSER III allows the district to provide a lower tax rate without accessing the voter approved funding.
This school year, the district’s maintenance and operations tax rate will drop from $1.0547 per $100 of assessed property value to $1.0067. The debt service tax rate will drop from $0.42 to $0.37. The new combined tax rate is $1.3767 per $100 of assessed property value.
For the average home value in McKinney, which is $377,755, the new tax rate will result in about $370 in savings on annual property taxes.
“I hope our community understands that... this is unheard of,” Superintendent Rick McDaniel said at the board meeting.
He credited the decrease to the district paying off debts within 20 years as opposed to the standard 25.
“This is the best presentation I’ve given,” said Jason Bird, deputy superintendent of business, operations, accountability and technology, during the meeting.