The maintenance and operations rate, which funds the district’s day-to-day operations, is $1.06835—down from $1.17. The interest and sinking or debt service rate remained unchanged at $0.35.
Prior to changes in school finance law, HISD had proposed a property tax rate of $1.52—a rate consistent with the district’s rate for the last decade, according to district data.
HISD Chief Financial Officer Mike Seale said the reduced tax rate is due to the passage of House Bill 3, the school finance reform bill, during the 86th Texas Legislature. HB 3 requires school districts to reduce their tax rates as the state takes on more of the financial burden of funding public schools from local taxpayers, Seale said.
"When the state says to us that you have to lower your tax rate, that means we're going to collect less locally and the state is going to make up that difference," he said.
For the 2019-20 year, district officials anticipate 46.4% of revenue to come from local taxpayers, 52.5% from the state and 1.1% in federal funding, according to HISD data. By comparison, HISD received 55.9% of its revenue from local dollars in the 2018-19 year, 40.9% from the state and 3.2% in federal dollars.
HB 3 also requires districts to lower tax rates for the 2020-21 year; however, Seale said district officials are unsure exactly how much it could be reduced.
"We expect some more tax rate reduction next year. It'll be much smaller than the tax rate reduction this year," Seale said.