Dayton ISD lowering the tax rate

Tami Pierce, associate superintendent of Business Services of Dayton ISD

The Dayton ISD Board of Trustees voted on the 2019 school district tax rate Tuesday night, August 20, 2019.  The new tax rate is $0.10 lower than last year’s rate.  The overall rate that was approved is $1.27 per $100 of property value, down from $1.37 per $100 of value in 2018. 

The 86th Texas Legislature approved new school finance legislation in May, which gave school districts some relief on the Maintenance and Operations portion of the tax rate and allowed the district to lower that portion of the tax rate seven cents, from $1.04 per $100 of value to $0.97 per $100 of value.  The remainder of the tax rate is for the Interest & Sinking (I&S) portion, which allows the District to set that portion of the rate at whatever is needed to pay the current year’s bond payments based on voter approved bonds.  The I&S rate went from $0.33 per $100 valuation down three cents to $0.30 per $100 of valuation this year.  So the $0.07 drop in the M&O rate combined with the $0.03 drop in the I&S rate, combined to a whopping $0.10 drop in the overall tax rate. 

The Texas Comptrollers Office requires a Tax Rate Notice to be published in the newspaper advertising the public meeting that is required when a taxing entity sets a tax rate.  That notice shows the average taxable value of a residence in Dayton ISD was $138,521 in 2018 and that average has increased to $146,213 in 2019. 

When the lower tax rate is applied to that average home value, the result is a property tax savings of $10.45.  While the school district has reduced the overall tax rate for the past four years consecutively, the increase in property values has been on the upswing as economic growth has been favorable in our area.  The District has reduced the tax rate $0.1617 cents over the past four years. 

Tami Pierce, Associate Superintendent of Business Services, reminded the Trustees and the audience that in 2014 when the bonds were being considered to build new schools, the estimated I&S rate that was going to be needed was $0.438 cents, but in reality the I&S rate has not been more than $0.3917 cents and has now been reduced to $0.30.  She commended the Board for their good fiscal decisions to position the district to be able to reduce the tax rate this year. 

“The way Texas state law is written, the Central Appraisal District is required to assess property value at current market rates and the CAD as well as all the taxing entities in the County are penalized if the CAD does not assess property values within a narrow margin of the market value.  On the bright side, we can be pleased with the fact that our local economy in Southeast Texas is thriving which draws homeowners to our area,” a statement from the district reads. 

Pierce said she was very pleased to recommend the tax rate reduction to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday evening. 

“We really appreciate the support we receive for our students and staff from our taxpayers and the entire community,” she said.

The school board set a budget earlier this summer on June 25, 2019, for their fiscal year that began on July 1.  They didn’t receive the certified property values until later in July.  The rate that was set Tuesday evening will be assessed to taxpayers in October.

“We are always appreciative of our DISD Board of Trustees with their dedication and due diligence to our students, district and community,” the statement concludes.

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