Clear Creek ISD’s board of trustees approved the district’s fiscal year 2020-21 tax rate, an approximately five-cent decrease from FY 2019-20, during a regular board meeting Sept. 28.

The adopted tax rate is $1.2659 per $100 valuation, which consists of two components: the maintenance and operation tax rate of $.9359 and the interest and sinking tax rate of $0.33.

The rate exceeds the no-new-revenue tax rate of $1.22. The adopted rate is the lowest possible rate the district can approve without being penalized by the state while also allowing for full funding, based on the formula used to calculate tax rates, said Paul McLarty, deputy superintendent of business and support services, during the meeting. Unlike with a government municipality, the district does not keep all of the funds raised through taxes, officials said.

In 2019, the approved rate was the lowest the district had seen in 27 years. In the last two years alone, the tax rate has decreased by $0.1341. This year, the maintenance and operation tax rate decreased by 3.41 cents due to House Bill 3, McLarty said.

The tax rate has been steady at $1.40 per $100 valuation since FY 2013-14, but the rate dropped to $1.31 per $100 valuation for FY 2019-20, mostly due to House Bill 3. The rate included a $0.97 rate for maintenance and operations and a $0.34 rate for debt service.

The board of trustees approved the district’s FY 2020-21 budget, which is projected to be $9.2 million higher than the budget in FY 2019-20, at its regular meeting Aug. 24. About $0.63 of every dollar in the budget goes directly to classroom instruction, officials said Aug. 24. In all, 51 full-time positions were added to the budget for FY 2020-21.

The total general operating fund is $370.5 million. McLarty said Sept. 28 the state is providing the district with less funding this year, while local funding is increasing.

The board also authorized an order Sept. 28 allowing the district’s financial adviser to refund more than $114 million word of bond money. The series 2012 bonds can be refunded, delivered and closed in mid-November, according to information presented at the meeting.

Based on current estimated rates, there is an estimated savings of almost $9.9 million in future debt service payments if these bonds are refunded. Authorization of the order will allow the financial adviser to refund these bonds at the most favorable time to achieve maximum savings to the district.