RISD backing off 5-cent tax rate hike

The Rockdale ISD, and its taxpayers, will benefit from the recent lawsuit settlement between Luminant and the Milam Appraisal District, as the district is revising its 2012-13 tax rate forecast downward.

In June, administrators were predicting a 5-cent increase from the current $1.225 rate, in the neighborhood of $1.275.

“It now appears we will be able to propose a rate that’s maybe 1-1/2 cents below what we had originally thought,” Supt. Dr. Howell Wright told The Reporter Monday.

SETTLEMENT—What changed? “The lawsuit was over 2011 taxes, but the settlement covered a two-year period,” Dr. Wright said. “That means the $410 million valuation figure agreed upon for 2011- 12 was also agreed upon for 2012-2013.”

The upcoming year looks to provide some much-needed stability for the district.

“For the first time in several years, we’re looking at stable values,” Dr. Wright said. “Our recapture (funds ‘rich’ districts must return to the state) looks to be less and our state revenue a little higher.”

Put that all together and it appears the district will only have to increase its debt service (INS) tax rate 3 to 3-1/2 cents, not five cents.

Trustees have already adopted a 2012-13 budget, but have not yet set a tax rate.

Dr. Wright said the district is also awaiting results of a state audit process involving the way market value is figured. “That might be more good news next year,” he said.

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2012-08-09 digital edition

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