The Robstown Independent School District has joined with two other school districts in asking voters to approve a tax rate adjustment that could pump at least $2 million of additional tax revenue into the RISD without a tax increase.
The RISD Board of Trustees voted to approve the proposal during its Aug. 3 meeting in a 4-0 vote. Specifically, trustees approved the adoption of the proposed tax rate, pending voter approval, of $1.523 per $100 valuation.
Trustees Adolfo Lopez, Robert Tapia, Osvaldo Romero and Richard Gonzalez voted in favor of the motion. Board members Eva Orona, Ernesto Gallegos and Pablo Avila did not attend last week's meeting.
The difference is how the total tax rate is divided up between the debt service, which pays for bond or other debt payments, and maintenance and operations portions of the total rate. At the moment, the M&O tax rate is $1.04 per $100 valuation, while the debt service rate is 33.4 cents per $100 valuation.
The district's tax rate was scheduled to increase next fiscal year to $1.523 per $100 valuation due to the recent bond election for a new elementary school.
Because of that, the tax rate adjustment being proposed would shift 13 cents of the debt service tax rate to the M&O side, leaving rates of $1.17 per $100 valuation for M&O and 35.3 cents per $100 valuation for debt service.
The move would provide the school district with about $2.4 million in additional revenue annually. However, $400,000 of that money would have to be reallocated to the debt service fund on a yearly basis to pay off outstanding debt payments, Superintendent Alfonso Obregon said.
The board also approved its participation in the Sept. 11 Tax Ratification Election by a 4-0 vote.
The election will include the Tuloso-Midway and Calallen independent school districts. Calallen is hoping for a $700,000 boost in annual tax revenue, while the TMISD is looking for a first-year boost of $1.9 million, which would then drop to about $300,000 annually afterwards.
The board also added an amendment to their order for election that would include language on the ballot for its district to read any funds coming from the state via the Tax Ratification Election be used "exclusively for employee pay raises."
This would include all district employees, not just teachers, Obregon said.