Spring ISD lowers tax rate amid rising area property values

Spring ISD Board of Trustees The SISD board of trustees is Justine Durant (front row, from left), Jana Gonzales, Rhonda L. Faust, and Rhonda Newhouse and Chris A. Bell (top row, from left), Ron Crier, Deborah Jensen and Superintendent Rodney E. Watson.[/caption]

The Spring ISD board of trustees unanimously voted Oct. 13 to lower the district’s overall tax rate by 4 cents after certified taxable property values exceeded projections from the 2015-16 budget.

The new tax rate is $1.47 per $100 valuation, which includes $1.04 for the maintenance and operations fund and $0.43 for debt service payments. The 2015-16 budget projected a $1.51 per $100 valuation tax rate.

This year’s budget included increased salaries for teachers, expanded transportation services and funding for the development of an in-district disciplinary alternative education program. SISD Chief Financial Officer Ann Westbrooks said the lower tax rate will provide the district with the same amount of revenue.

“Hopefully we’ll attract more developers to develop in our district,” board member Ron Crier said. “This will help give them an [incentive] to employ people from our area.”

Although the overall tax rate has decreased, the approved amount is 15 percent higher than the effective tax rate, Westbrooks said.

“The effective tax rate simply says how much does our tax rate need to be to gain the exact amount of property taxes that we collected in the prior year,” Westbrooks said. “It does not take into consideration the amount of debt the district has and how much tax revenue is needed to support that debt.”

SISD has lowered its overall tax rate by 10 cents in the last two years. A person who owns a home valued at $100,000 will see a two-year decrease of $187 on his or her tax bill with the district’s lower overall tax rate, Westbrooks said.

The tax cut follows a 17 percent increase in overall property values this year in the district’s service area. ExxonMobil, which has relocated its corporate headquarters to master-planned community Springwoods Village, is SISD’s highest valued property with a $1.04 billion evaluation, Westbrooks said.

Nearby in Springwoods Village, Southwestern Energy Company has the district’s second highest property value with a $151 million valuation, according to the Harris County Appraisal District.

“We are very pleased to be able to decrease the school district’s tax rate, [which has helped] offset the increase in appraised values and resulting increase in property taxes that the Spring community has recently seen,” Westbrooks said.


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