Tax rate passed and Harvey funds requested: 5 things to know from Monday's Katy ISD meeting

For the third year in a row, Katy ISD will have a $1.5166 per $100 valuation tax rate. The board of trustees approved the fiscal year 2017-18 rate Monday, which includes a $0.37 per $100 valuation interest and sinking—or debt services—tax rate and a $1.15 per $100 valuation maintenance and operations tax rate, which supports the general fund.

Two cents were added to the M&O tax rate and two cents were reduced from the I&S tax rate, compared to the 2016 total tax rate.

At its meeting Monday, the board also discussed the following:

1. Tax revenues uncertain for next year
KISD Chief Financial Officer Chris Smith said property tax revenues could be lower for the 2018-19 budget due to damage from Hurricane Harvey, and because the district has requested reappraisals for properties damaged by the storm.

Assessed values in KISD increased by 6.2 percent to about $38.6 billion this year compared to 2016, but Smith said he will have a better idea of the district’s tax revenue in December.

“That’s going to be an uncertain as we move forward throughout this year because of Hurricane Harvey and the reappraisal process,” he said.

2. Harvey recovery funds requested
KISD is requesting another nearly $5 million in budget amendments for FY 2017-18 to cover the costs of repairs and other costs brought by Harvey. Smith said the school district has already spent about $17.5 million for recovery efforts, about $12 million of which was approved in September.

Smith said more budget amendments are expected and by December KISD will likely know what its insurances claims were for the storm. KISD plans to used its fund balance, also known as a rainy day fund, for these expenditures.

3. Renovation plans unveiled for elementary schools
VLK Architects of Houston presented its plan for renovating Golbow and Pattison Elementary schools, two projects approved in the district’s 2014 bond referendum for a combined nearly $31.1 million. Brad Ewing, a VLK project designer, said construction is scheduled to finish in July.

Both schools are 28 years old and will get interior renovations, including classroom reconfigurations and structural replacements.

4. Fielder Elementary neighbors concerned about street parking
Two residents near Fielder Elementary School in Cinco Ranch raised concerns related to street parking and traffic around the school. Both speakers said it was a “management issue” on the part of the school and the district, as the school is overcrowded.

“Street parking is not allowed by residents so it is somewhat frustrating to see people, who do not live in our community necessarily, parking on the streets in front of our homes, but we’re not allowed to park there ourselves,” said resident Roy Labourdette.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that four cents were reduced from the I&S tax rate.
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