The Houston Independent School District Board of Education today unanimously approved maintaining the lowest school property tax rate among the 26 school systems in Harris County.
Superintendent Terry Grier recommended keeping the HISD property tax rate of $1.1567 per $100 taxable value despite the loss of $125.1 million in state funding over the past two years. Since 2002:
- Districtwide general fund spending is down $170 million, when adjusted for inflation.
- HISD building utility costs have climbed $18.6 million, a 40 percent increase.
- Spending on central administration has declined from 6.5 percent of the budget a decade ago to a projected 4 percent for the current 2012-2013 school year.
Harris County school districts with higher tax rates in 2011 than HISD include: Aldine, Alief, Channelview, Clear Creek, Crosby, Cypress-Fairbanks, Dayton, Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek, Huffman, Humble, Katy, Klein, La Porte, New Caney, North Forest, Pasadena, Pearland, Sheldon, Spring, Spring Branch, Stafford, Tomball, and Waller.
HISD’s property tax rate is a full 20 cents below the county average of $1.3576 per $100 taxable value. This means the owner of a home with a taxable value of $200,000 in HISD pays about $400 less per year than the owner of a $200,000 home in another Harris County school district. The savings are even greater in many cases, because HISD is among just eight Harris County school districts that grant homeowners an additional 20 percent homestead exemption.
HISD’s property tax rate would remain the lowest in Harris County, even if voters approve the proposed school construction bond referendum on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.