Hello, Morgan Creek Village residents,
I wanted to share an email that BCISD parents received yesterday from the superintendent. He provides information about two constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this May and how they relate to property taxes and funding the local schools. I thought this may interest some of you.
Early Voting leading up to the May 7th Election Day began yesterday and will run through Tuesday, May 3rd. As a reminder, there is no Board of Trustee Election this year, nor are there any City of Burnet Elections this year. The City of Bertram is having an election for Mayor and Aldermen. No matter where you live though, what you will find on ballots across the State of Texas are two constitutional amendments. To see sample ballots, go to Burnet County Elections at https://burnetcountyelections.com/current-election/.
Proposition 1 would reduce the amount of taxes elderly and disabled homeowners pay to support public education. State lawmakers have said they will cover the estimated $744 million in lost revenue to school districts with their projected, approximate $25 billion budget surplus.
Proposition 2 would increase the homestead exemption for school district property taxes from $25,000 to $40,000 for all homeowners. State lawmakers have said they will cover the estimated $600 million in lost revenue to school districts with their projected, approximate $25 billion budget surplus.
If these constitutional amendments are approved, we have to hold lawmakers to their word that they will truly cover the cost of the lost revenue for schools permanently, and not just for the first two years.
While these propositions will help reduce the tax burden slightly, state lawmakers are going to have to find a solution to the problem of paying for public education solely through property taxes that are based on appraised property value. The state should study other revenue sources, and commit to funding their fair share of public education. Currently, Burnet CISD is funded 100% through local taxes, (no state funding) and does not get to keep all of the local funding because of recapture (sending money to the state to be redistributed to other districts).
Like many of you, I just received my notice of appraised value for my home, and has been the trend, there is a significant increase in just one year’s time of the appraised value. Many people may think that Burnet CISD receives a significant increase in revenue when appraised property values increase significantly. The reality is, given the current funding system, Burnet CISD sees very little new revenue from property value increases. What does increase significantly is the amount we send back to the state as part of the recapture plan.
Given our $36 million budget today, we are on track to pay $3-4 million in recapture this year. Projecting similar property value increases as last year, Burnet CISD expects to receive approximately $15,000 in new revenue, and yet our recapture payment is expected to increase to $7-8 million.
Burnet CISD has decreased its tax rate every year for the past 6 years, and has the second lowest tax rate among all surrounding districts. The overall tax rate has decreased from $1.33 in 2015 to $1.077 today, and is projected to decrease to $1.0596 next year. Even with these tax rate decreases, people are still paying more for property taxes, and the state would financially penalize Burnet CISD significantly if we tried to lower our maintenance and operation tax rate even lower, or if the Burnet Central Appraisal District appraised property too low in the opinion of the state.
There are lots of important issues to be addressed in the next Legislative Session that will begin in January 2023. I will continue to work to make sure you are informed of those issues. Please take time to vote in the May 7 Election and the May 24 Texas primary runoff elections. Those who represent Burnet County in the State House and Senate make a difference.
Keith McBurnett, Superintendent of Schools