Before summer vacation, the McKinney ISD board of trustees heard a proposed tax rate that would lower the district’s total tax rate by more $0.05 in the upcoming fiscal year. But at its Aug. 23 board meeting, trustees adopted an even lower tax rate.

The adopted tax rate of $1.3129 marks a decrease of more than $0.06, meeting documents showed. This tax rate decrease follows last year’s drop of $0.098 for a combined tax rate decrease of $0.161 over the course of two years and $0.357 over the last seven years, according to a district news release.

Jason Bird, the district’s deputy superintendent of business, operations, accountability and technology, said the reduction from the proposed tax rate to the adopted tax rate is a result of the district’s use of federal grant funding. Part of the lowered rate also comes from the strong property value growth in McKinney, which has increased more than 17% in the city.

During fiscal year 2020-21, the average single-family home in MISD was valued at $377,932. FY 2021-22 will have the average single-family home in MISD valued at $493,508, an increase of more than 30%, according to a presentation Bird gave.

Bird said that with property value growth, the maintenance and operations tax rate for the district will have to be mandatorily compressed, as required by House Bill 3 that was passed in 2019’s legislative session.

He proposed the maintenance and operations budget for the school district would decrease from $1.0067 per $100 valuation to $0.9429 per $100 valuation. The district’s debt service fund would remain at $0.37 per $100, for a total tax rate of $1.3129 per $100 valuation.

The lowered rate will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate, due to the property value growth. But MISD is having to increase its recapture payments and experience reduced state aid, Bird said.

Trustee Chad Green expressed frustration with the district’s inability to do more to provide tax relief to MISD residents while teachers also deal with rising costs of inflation.

“Just so the parents and the public know, that money goes to the Legislature, who increases the cost that we have to spend everywhere through unfunded mandates,” he said. “And if you’re not aware of this, you really need to talk to your legislators. They like spending money that is not theirs to spend.”

District Superintendent Rick McDaniel agreed with Green’s comments.

“Our teachers deserve much better, so talk to your legislator,” McDaniel said.