Almost a year after voters approved a 13-cent property tax hike in a Tax Ratification Election, the Dallas ISD board of trustees will discuss reducing the rate this Thursday.
In November, voters approved raising the rate from $1.04 to $1.17, the first increase since 2008. The agenda for Thursday’s regular meeting includes discussion of reducing the rate to about $1.06 per $100 valuation.
Specifically, the measure would set the maintenance and operation tax rate at $1.068350, and the debt service tax rate at 242035 cents, which winds up being about $1.31 per $100 valuation, a 3.26 percent decrease in the total tax rate.
“We appreciate the tax payers helping us out when we needed you and the state leg. for finance reform,” said trustee Miguel Solis on Twitter. “Proud to lower those taxes.”
In May, the Texas legislature passed sweeping education funding reform, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott with much pomp and circumstance. All 139 House members and all 30 state senators voted to approve House Bill 3, which included $6.5 billion in public education funding and teacher pay increases, and $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes.
It also included funding for full-day pre-K and an increase in per-pupil funding. More than $5 billion was earmarked to lower school district taxes up to 13 cents per $100 valuation.
The bill also aimed to reduce recapture payments (or Robin Hood) that property-wealthy districts (including Highland Park ISD and Dallas ISD) make to the state by about 47 percent.
Lawmakers said that the new bill would increase the state’s share of public education funding to 45 percent from 38 percent and would lower recapture payments by $3.6 billion over two years.
Legislators also said it would increase the state’s share of public education funding to 45 percent from 38 percent. They said it would lower school districts’ cumulative recapture payments, which wealthier districts pay to subsidize poorer districts, by $3.6 billion over two years.
During the months leading up to the TRE election last year, the board took the unusual step of pledging that the $126 million the 13-cent tax increase would generate in the first year would go to four specific initiatives — pay raises, racial equity initiatives, expanding school choice, and expanding pre-K.