Why Plano ISD trustees want to be included in the rising property values discussion

Students walk through the halls of Lebanon Trail High School, one of four new schools that Frisco ISD opened this year.

Students walk through the halls of Lebanon Trail High School, one of four new schools that Frisco ISD opened this year.

The Plano City Council and the Plano ISD board of trustees will hold a joint work session tonight in which trustees will provide updates on the district’s enrollment demographics and the new performing arts theater. Both entities will also share its goals for the upcoming legislative session.

The meeting will take place at 6:45 p.m. at the Plano ISD Sockwell Center, 6301 Chapel Hill Blvd., Plano.

The meeting comes nearly a month after PISD trustees testified in Austin and Plano to express their desire for more transparency with regard to school funding. The goal, they said, is to give property owners in Plano a better understanding of how their school tax dollars are being used, PISD trustee Missy Bender said.

PISD and a coalition of other Region 10 leaders have been reaching out to lawmakers to bring school funding to the forefront of the rising property values discussion. Home sale prices in Collin County have nearly doubled in the past decade, and news of rising home values, sale prices and property taxes has reached state legislators, who are trying to determine if state intervention is needed to curb the financial burden on property owners.

Although most property taxes paid by Plano residents—about 69 percent—go to fund schools, those opposed to lowering PISD’s tax rate to offset the increases argue that school districts are generally unable to lower their tax rates because of the state legislature’s over reliance on property taxes to fund education.

With a tax rate of $1.439 per $100 of valuation, PISD has the second-lowest tax rate in Collin County.

“People need to understand that property tax relief and school finance reform are completely intertwined,” PISD Chief Financial Officer Steve Fortenberry said. “You really can’t fully do one without the other. If [school districts] reduce their tax rate [they] simply get less money.”
“If you follow the money you’ll see that the money goes in from recapture and [from] property value growth."—Missy Bender, Plano ISD trustee

Increases in property taxes does not necessarily mean more money for school districts, however, Bender said.

“As a taxing entity, our revenue stream is completely different. None of that increase stays here, it all goes to the state,” she said.

About 25 percent of Texas school districts are subject to paying recapture taxes to the state under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code. These 251 school districts include Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen and Prosper ISDs and contribute approximately $1.5 billion each year in recaptured property taxes, according to the Texas School Coalition.These payments are used by the state to fund its share of public education.

More districts are expected to join these districts as their property values increase, Bender said, including Houston ISD. Houston will hold a special election Nov. 8 that, if approved, would require the district to begin sending recapture payments to the state to the tune of about $160 million.

Plano ISD paid $60 million in recapture taxes to the state in 2015-16, or 12.7 percent of its operating revenue, according to district data.

“If you follow the money you’ll see that the money goes in from recapture and [from] property value growth,” Bender said. “Other districts that are not subject to recapture are subject to growth so [the state] take[s] their money too. It’s not just [Chapter 41 schools].”

Although the money collected technically goes toward school funding, the more school districts are contributing the less that is being paid for by the state, Bender said. In other words, local property taxes are supplanting the state’s required funding level, she said. Instead, those displaced funds went toward franchise tax relief, Fortenberry said.

“It just keeps ratcheting up,” Fortenberry said. “In the long run, the only way that we get to retain any more money for operations is if we get more students, which we haven’t been, and if we get more students we have more operating cost. If we raise our tax rate we get more revenue, but we can’t—like a lot of [school] districts, we’re at the max.”

Take our quiz below to learn more about school financing in Texas.




MOST RECENT

The city of Plano is expected to enforce Gov. Greg Abbott's order requiring residents to wear masks at most businesses and public spaces. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
City of Plano to enforce governor's order requiring masks in public spaces—including warnings, fines

The mandate requires Texans to wear face coverings in businesses and public spaces—indoor or outdoor—where maintaining six feet of distance from other people is not feasible.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

weights at gym
Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp to open Plano location in August

Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp offers weights and personal training with an emphasis in CrossFit, boxing and cardio workouts.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Menu offering
Vitality Bowls opens new location in Plano

Health conscious eaters in Plano have a new dining option along Dallas Parkway. Nurticious bowls, soups, salads, smoothies and juices are all on the menu at Vitality Bowls.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

CoServ executives accepting award
CoServ annual meeting to be virtual this year

CoServ has announced its virtual meeting plans to replace a physical meeting that has drawn up to 3,000 customers in the past.

An Ikigai Udon dough master prepares dough for the noodle-making process a few weeks after the restaurant opened in 2017. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fast-casual Ikigai Udon restaurant in Plano closes after 3 years in business

The Japanese restaurant closed temporarily in March, but made that closure permanent in June due to "the unusual economic situation."

Money stock art
Comptroller: Texas June sales tax revenue totaled $2.7 billion, down 6.5% from a year ago

The Texas comptroller's office has released June sales tax revenue figures.

Bus
Denton County Transit Authority requires riders to wear masks

The Denton County Transit Authority stated its new requirement will be enforced on both its A-train and bus system until the pandemic is over.