SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees voted Monday night to raise the maintenance and operations tax rate by 13 cents, calling for a $450 million bond and tax ratification election.
That will result in two separate ballot propositions in November for voters in the district's attendance zone to consider.
The district said the decision came after a recommendation from a community-based Blue Ribbon Task Force, which reviewed district facility and academic needs.
If approved, the bond would fund the renovation of 13 schools and the upgrading of science labs and technology. It would also provide funds for teacher compensation for after-school and summer programs, and for the expansion of extra curricular offerings and other classroom spaces to meet recommended state guidelines.
“In light of the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling, upholding the state’s public school funding system as constitutional, we believe the only means for generating additional state revenue for daily operations is through a TRE,” SAISD board President Patti Radle said. “Together, the TRE and bond would bring additional academic support to every SAISD campus and further our efforts to modernize our many aging schools.”
District trustees voted to set the M&O tax rate at $1.17 per $100 of tax valuation, up from the current $1.04. However, an M&O tax rate above $1.04 requires voter approval.
Should voters approve the 13-cent increase, an estimated $15.6 million in tax revenue would be generated, which the state would then more than match with an estimated $16.5 million, district officials said.
How does that affect someone in the SAISD district? Officials said the rate would take effect this year and increase by 12 cents each year over the course of five years. That would make the impact to the owner of an average taxable-value home see an initial increase of $7.49 per month in 2016, then an estimated additional $1.16 in 2017 for a total of $8.75 per month. Incrementally, the rate would be an average of $14.59 per month by 2020.
However, if the board implemented an additional $5,000 homestead exemption, the monthly tax impact for the average homeowner in 2017 would be $2.37 instead of $8.75. By 2020, the rate would be up to an average of $7.79.
SAISD officials said property taxes for senior citizens would not be affected if a homestead and over 65 exemption has been filed with the Bexar County Appraisal District and they have owned the home as of Jan. 1.