Board Hearing and Board Meeting Last Night

Last night, the EISD Board of Trustees held a hearing to discuss the proposed budget and proposed tax tax rate for the 2012-2013 school year. The hearing started at 6:30 and was held in the High School library. During the hearing, the board was presented with budget information and tax rate information. The proposed maintenance and operations budget for 2012-2013 was $10,557,527. This represents an increase of approximately $200,000 from last year. The proposed tax rate of $1.27 for 2012-2013 is a slight decrease from the rate of $1.2763 in 2011-2012.

In their regular monthly meeting, the EISD Board of Trustees heard the following reports:

  • Adequate Yearly Progress
  • Maintenance of Effort
  • 2012 Local Education Agency Determination Process
  • 2012-2013 UIL Side By Side
  • 2011-2012 District Improvement Plan Evaluation
  • 2011-2012 Campus Improvement Plan Evaluations
  • SAT Scores

The EISD Board of Trustees took the following actions during the meeting:

  • Approved the minutes of the previous meetings.
  • Approved the financial reports as presented
  • Approved the 2012-2013 budget as presented.
  • Approved the 2012-2013 at $1.27 per $100 valuation. The total tax rate is made up of an M & O rate of $1.04 and an I & S rate of $.23.
  • Approved the campus improvement plans as presented.
  • Approved the sale of property as presented.
  • Reviewed the Food Allergy Plan for the 2012-2013 school year.
  • Approved the attendance committees as presented.
  • Approved the PDAS appraisers as presented.
  • Accepted the resignation of April Morris.
  • Employed the following personnel: Jan Cooper, food service; Nicole Moore, custodian; Cheryl McEvoy, custodian; Rick Terrell, maintenance; Robert Raney, custodian; Bruce Russell, part-time maintenance; Kristina Mast, aide; Ashley McCarter, teacher; Pam Glover, teacher;
  • Approved the substitute list as presented.
  • Approved student transfers as presented.
  • Adjourned

Welcome Back to Staff and Middle School Cheer

While many of our staff members have been working since the first of the month, today is the official first day back for all staff members. Over the next four days, staff will be working at campuses to finish preparing for the first day of school. This Thursday, the Primary, Intermediate, and Middle School campuses will be hosting “Meet the Teacher Night”. The High School will host the annual Bulldog Bash on Monday, August 27 (the first day of school for students). I encourage everyone to come out for these events.

I received information from Kim Purselley, Middle School cheerleading sponsor, about the camp that the cheerleaders recently attended. I wanted to pass this information on to you:

Just wanted to take a minute of your time to let you know how well the middle school cheerleaders did at camp this summer. I’m proud to say that all 15 girls were nominated for All American and Zoie Bailey and Anna Gaddis were chosen as an All American. Anna Gaddis was Top All American out of everyone chosen. As a team we earned 3 Superior ribbons and one Excellent in our evaluations. We were awarded the Herkie T.E.A.M Plaque for showing team unity, spirit, and leadership throughout the week. This award was voted on by all the squads at camp, so I was very proud of how they represented EMS. We also won the Performance Top Team Trophy and the Spirit Stick.

Congratulations to Mrs. Purselley and all the members of the Middle School Cheer Squad for their hard work and accomplishments!

Budget and Tax Rate, Part 3

In my previous post, I mentioned that we would discuss a portion of the published notification for the public meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate in greater detail. On the second page of the notice, there is a section titled “Comparison of Proposed Levy with Last Year’s Levy on Average Residence.” In this section a comparison is made between last year’s rate and this year’s proposed rate in five different areas: 1) Average Market Value of Residences; 2) Average Taxable Value of Residences; 3) Last Year’s Rate Versus Proposed Rate per $100 Value; 4) Taxes Due on Average Residence; and, 5) Increase (Decrease) in Taxes.

Last year, the average market value in EISD was $91,252. This year, the average market value increased to $103,184. This represents an increase of a little more than 13% in one year. Last year’s average taxable value was $67,072. This year, the average taxable value has increased to $86,318. This is an increase of over 28%.

Last year, our tax rate was $1.2763 per $100 value. This year, the proposed tax rate is $1.27, a decrease of $0.0063. However, even with a decrease in the tax rate, the taxes owed on a average valued residence will increase because of the sharp increase in the average taxable value of a residence. This is why there shows to be a $240.20 increase in taxes.

EISD is one of the few districts in the state that continues to offer an optional homestead exemption to taxpayers. In addition to the state homestead exemption of $15,000, EISD provides a 20% exemption on homesteads. This 20% is deducted first, and then the $15,000 state homestead is deducted. So, as an example, let’s look at the tax owed on a home valued at $100,000.

First, take 20% of $100,000 which is $20,000. Subtract that from $100,000. This is the optional homestead exemption. $100,000 – $20,000 = $80,000. Next, subtract $15,000 from $80,000. This is the state homestead exemption. $80,000 – $15,000 = $65,000. This $65,000 is the amount that will be taxed by EISD (in some cases, there may be more exemptions). To calculate the taxes owed, take $65,000 and divide it by $100:         $65,000/$100  = 650. Multiply this number by our proposed tax rate of $1.27: 650 x $1.27 = $825.50. This would be the taxes owed on a $100,000 residence.

In this case, if EISD did not have the optional homestead exemption, this taxpayer would owe: $100,000 – $15,000 = $85,000. $85,000/$100 = 850 x $1.27 = $1,079.50. So, the 20% optional homestead exemption saved this taxpayer $254.

As always, I welcome your questions or comments. My email address is cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

 

Budget and Tax Rate, Part 2

Last week, I discussed part of the information provided in the Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss Budget and Proposed Tax Rate. This notice has been published twice in local papers. While part of the function of this notice is to provide information on the proposed tax rate, the notice also provides other data about the district.

On the first page of the notice, the total appraised value and the total taxable value of district property is presented. For the current tax year, the total appraised value of all property in EISD is $784,954.756. The total taxable value for the current tax year is $542,842,076.

At the bottom of the first page, the amount of bonded indebtedness is listed. Currently, EISD has a bonded indebtedness of $12,540,000. This is the principal only portion of the bonds. The Interest and Sinking (I & S) portion of the total tax rate is used to pay for these bonds. In the proposed tax rate, $0.23 will be used to make our bond payments.

On the second page of the notice, information about the comparison of the proposed rate to last year’s rate is provided at the top of the page. A comparison is also made with the rate to maintain the same level of maintenance and operations revenue and pay for debt services.

Next week, we will look at the middle portion of the second page, Comparison of Proposed Levy with Last Year’ Levy on Average Residence. This is an important section, and I want to make sure to cover it thoroughly.

On another note, the EHS JV volleyball team will be competing today in the Eustace Tournament. The JV Bulldogs play at 8:50, 9:40, and 11:20. The tournament concludes on Saturday. The varsity volleyball team will be traveling to Van to play in the Van Invitational Tournament. The varsity plays on Friday and Saturday. Finally, the first football scrimmage will be Saturday morning in Eustace against Scurry-Rosser. The scrimmage will start at 9:00 AM.

Also, on behalf of EISD, I want to welcome the following teachers that are new to our district: Pam Glover, 2nd Grade; Becky Oakley, Pre-K; Laurie Reeve, Kindergarten; Carlos Rivera, 7th Science; Trevor Thorne, MS Special Education; Thomas Bailey, Ag Science; David Curry, HS Special Education; Briana Grammer, Athletic Trainer; Ashley McCarter, HS Math; Anna Rhea, HS English; and, Deborah Peterson, LSSP. These teachers will be participating in new teacher orientation today. We are excited about the addition of all of these staff members.

Changes at the Tax Office

A major change is underway in how EISD collects its property taxes. For years, EISD has maintained its own tax office. Starting soon, Henderson County will begin collecting property taxes for EISD. We are in the process of closing out our books now. When that is accomplished, tax collections will be handled by the county.

Earlier this year, Debbie Myers, EISD Tax Collector, informed me that she would be retiring at the end of January 2013. This news led to a reexamining of the costs of EISD maintaining its own tax office versus the cost of the county taking over this duty. After looking at both costs carefully, the EISD Board of Trustees voted to move the property tax collections to the county. The Board also voted to keep the current delinquent tax attorneys.

While this change certainly marks a new direction in tax collections for EISD, it provides our tax payers with the most cost effective means for collecting property taxes. All 2012-2013 school district property taxes will be collected by the county. If you have any questions regarding this change over, do not hesitate to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net or Debbie Myers at dmyers@eustaceisd.net.

 

Time to Get Started

For all practical purposes, the summer is over. This past Monday, practice started for our football team, volleyball team, cross country teams, and band. The volleyball teams will have their first scrimmages Friday. The games will start at 4:30. Additional scrimmage games will take place on Saturday. Those games will start at 10:00 AM. Our first football scrimmage will be Saturday, August 18, against Scurry. The scrimmage will start at 9:00 AM.

Along with the start of extracurricular practices, this time of the year also signals budget and tax rate time for the upcoming school year. A notice of budget hearing has already been published once in local newspapers. Although districts are only required to publish the notice once, EISD has elected to run the notice twice to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see the numbers in the notice.

In summary, the notice provides the proposed tax rate for the upcoming school year and other budget information. The proposed tax rate for the 2012-2013 school year is $1.27. This is actually a slight decrease from last year’s rate of $1.2763. Of the total tax rate of $1.27, $1.04 is for maintenance and operations and $0.23 is for interest and sinking (I & S). The I & S portion of the tax rate goes to pay for voter approved bonds.  

The budget and tax rate hearing will take place on Tuesday, August 21. The hearing will start at 6:30 PM and be held in the High School library. Over the next few days, I will be furnishing additional information that is published in our notice and that will be discussed at the hearing. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

via Engaging the Digital Natives by Jerri Davis

As you may have noticed I have taken a break from my blog this summer. I took a small break from all things (well most things) technology related. After working my days this summer for my school district, I decided to spend this summer just being busy…a fun busy.

I worked a small part time job helping out a friend, lead the music for vacation bible school, went to youth camp, participated in the church mission trip, and finally last week was spent on the beaches of Destin, Florida. I have completely enjoyed my summer…but tomorrow I must rejoin reality and return to school. Though I hated for my time at the beach to end I am ready for a new school year.

Along with returning to school, I will also be returning to my blog. I have missed blogging. I hope that you will be excited to see my blog active again.

Good luck to you all as you return to school this year…I wish you a fabulous year and hope that in some small way I can help make this year a success.