Truth in Taxation, Part 1

by Coy Holcombe.  

As we enter the summer months, the focus will turn from providing updates on the day to day happenings in the district, to a focus on setting the budget and the process that is used in setting the budget. One of the major aspects of the budget is local taxes. Over the next few days, we will be discussing this process and I will be sharing parts from the Comptroller’s publication  2010 Truth-In-Taxation: A Guide for Setting School District Tax Rates

 Today, I want to focus on the four principles of truth in taxation outlined in this publication as they relate to school districts:

  • Property owners have the right to know of increases in their properties’ appraised value and to be notified of the estimated taxes that could result from the new value.
  • A school district must publish its proposed tax rate, rollback tax rate and other specific information about its proposed taxes.
  • A school district must publish a budget and proposed tax rate hearing notice and hold a public hearing to provide an opportunity for citizen input concerning these issues.
  • A school district must hold an election to ratify a tax rate adopted above its rollback rate. (p.2)

The publications mentioned above will take place in the latter part of July. We will need information from our appraisal districts in order to make the necessary calculations. The hearing will take place in August. It will be published in newspapers and meeting will comply with the necessary posting regulations. While I have not done any formal calculations at this time, EISD does not intend to adopt a tax rate above the rollback rate. Thus, there will be no need for an election.

Tax rates and budgets can seem to be complicated. I will do my best to try to explain as much as possible about this process throughout the summer. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net

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