The average Richardson ISD homeowner will likely see property tax payments rise despite unanimous board approval of a slightly lower tax rate.

The tax rate for school year 2020-21 is $1.4047 per $100 of assessed property value, which is a decrease from the rate of $1.41835 for school year 2019-20. The new rate will result in an annual increase of $163.76 for the average RISD taxpayer, which is 1.64% more than the average 2019 payment, according to Chief Financial Officer David Pate.

The majority of revenue from RISD property taxes goes toward covering the district’s maintenance and operations, such as salaries and benefits, while the remainder is used to pay down debts, such as those incurred on capital projects, Pate said.

The average market value of a residence in Richardson increased by nearly $16,000 to $319,558 since the last school year. After subtracting both state and local homestead exemptions, the average taxable value of a Richardson residence is $262,602, according to Pate. Increased property values are the reason most homeowners will see an uptick in payments, Pate said.

"If your property value grew more than the tax rate impact declined, you would still... pay more in property taxes even though the rate declined,” he said.

Richardson ISD is one of only three districts in North Texas that offers a local homestead exemption, which costs the district approximately $7 million annually, trustee and board treasurer Kim Caston said.

The increase in property tax revenue will help the district overcome hurdles associated with educating students during a pandemic, Caston said. This includes providing personal protective equipment for students and staff in addition to literacy intervention and other programs needed to help students who may have fallen behind. The revenue will also help the district expand its Pre-K For All initiative.

“That's what our public needs to understand is that we are moving ahead aggressively with academic initiatives,” Caston said. “[We are] using this money wisely to provide not only a safe learning environment for our teachers and for students, but also we are making sure that every child has their individual academic success.”