Property owners in the Katy ISD geographic boundary may pay lower property taxes if a new tax rate is approved.

District administration recommended the board approves a tax rate of $1.4432, in which the maintenance and operations tax rate would be $1.0532 per $100 valuation and the interest and sinking tax rate would be $0.39 per $100 valuation. The 2018-19 property tax rate was $1.5166. The rate will decrease thanks to the passage of House Bill 3—the state Legislature’s school finance reform bill.

The board of trustees approved a public meeting notice at the July 29 meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate for the 2019-20 school year. The meeting will be held Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Education Support Complex boardroom, 6301 S. Stadium Lane, Katy. The public is encouraged to attend and discuss the proposed tax rate.

Taxable values are expected to increase year over year nearly 6% from $39.5 billion to $41.5 billion, KISD Chief Financial Officer Christopher J. Smith said during a budget presentation. But general fund tax revenue will decrease by about $20.6 million year over year due to the lower tax rate.

Under HB 3, additional state funding is expected to make up this funding difference, Smith said. The projected year-over-year increase in general fund revenue is expected to increase from $715.6 million to $792.2 million.

The 2018-19 official budget was what Smith said he calls a breakeven budget, with a beginning and end fund balance of $213.5 million, according to his presentation. The 2019-20 projected budget is expected to have a surplus of about $700,000, but the projected 2020-21 budget is expected to have a shortfall of $7.4 million.

“We’ve got some work to do when it comes to next year,” Smith said. “We’re at the mercy of the state to fund things that are subject to inflation, i.e., health insurance, teacher cost-of-living increases, cost of fuel, supplies, etc. Those inflationary factors—if it weren’t for those, we would walk along just fine.”