Voters pass BISD tax swap
Breckenridge Independent School District’s tax ratification election passed Saturday, Aug. 25 by a vote of 292 to 80. This vote will rearrange taxes imposed by the district to help it qualify for more money from the state, while not changing residents’ tax bills.
“I’m very happy,” BISD Superintendent Tim Seymore said. “I’m happy the people of Stephens County voted to support the schools, students and staff of BISD.”
The election means the Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate will be combined with the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate. The current M&O rate is $1.04 and the I&S is $0.1285. State funding is based on enrollment and a district’s M&O rate.
By increasing the district’s M&O rate to $1.17 for the fiscal year starting Sept. 1, the district will earn an additional $270,000, according to officials. Regardless of whether the election had passed or not, the district had already declared its intention to pass a total tax rate of $1.17. A $100,000 property will see an increase of $1.50 on its bill, Seymore said.
Currently, residents pay in total just a hair under $1.17 per $100 valuation in total property taxes. Though, in order to have this tax swap, the district needed permission from residents to increase the M&O rate.
The I&S is used to pay debt on previous projects the district has conducted in past years. The M&O is used to pay for the district’s expenses, such as supplies, salaries, utilities, maintenance, etc. Seymore has said in the past the debt payments would come out of the M&O funds if the tax swap passed.
The district moved to certify the election results and held a public hearing on the proposed 2018-19 budget at a 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 28. After that, they held another special meeting at 6:30 p.m. where they voted on the budget with the new tax rate.