HISD recommending no increase in property tax rates for 2015-2016

Homeowners in the Houston Independent School District won’t see an increase in property tax rates for the 2015-2016 school year under a proposal being submitted Thursday to the Board of Education.

District administrators are asking trustees to maintain the current tax rate of $1.1967 per $100 taxable value. That rate includes two parts: $1.0267 dedicated to funding general maintenance and operations and 17 cents earmarked for debt service.

Trustees approved a $1.864 billion budget for the 2015-2016 school year in June. The district can fund that budget and continue to make debt payments without a tax rate increase because of increasing property values throughout the city. As property values rise the district receives more local property tax revenue. However, there is an offset to state revenue in the maintenance and operations fund; the debt service receives the increase in local taxes.

If approved, HISD will once again have the lowest school tax rate in Harris County.

Additionally, HISD will continue offering a local homestead exemption, which goes above and beyond the state mandated exemption. This year, the state Legislature raised the mandated homestead exemption from $15,000 to $25,000 through Senate Bill 1, which is subject to voter approval in November. In addition to the state’s mandated exemption, HISD homeowners claiming a homestead exemption take an additional 20 percent off the appraised value of their property, the highest homestead exemption allowed by the state.

Last year, this local homestead exemption saved HISD homeowners more than $150 million in property taxes. That is an additional annual savings of about $649 for the owner of a $271,295 home, which is the average home value in HISD.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. Click hereto view the full agenda. The board meeting will be broadcast live online at www.hisdtv.org.

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