Trustees acting on taxes for 2017

‘Ratification’ vote in the mix

Rockdale ISD trustees were scheduled to act on the 2017-18 school tax rate in a 6 p.m. Wednesday (May 17) session in the Central Administration Building.

While no increase is planned from the current $1.36 rate, trustees were to be asked to call a special “tax ratification” election for Aug. 15 to allow the district to shift 13 cents of the 2017-18 rate from debt service to the general fund.

That’s a move Supt. Dr. Denise Monzingo said would provide $908,000 more for the general fund during the year, without raising taxes.

Wednesday’s session was also to include a public hearing on the tax rate and discussion on how to fill a board vacancy created by a recent trustee resignation.

TAXES—Currently, the $1.36 RISD tax rate is composed of $1.04 for maintenance and operations and 32 cents for debt service to pay off the 2007 bonds which resulted in the construction of a new intermediate school, expansion-renovation of the high school and other projects.

It’s being proposed that trustees okay shifting 13 cents of the tax structure from interest and sinking (INS) to maintenance and operation (M&O),

The move would make the split $1.17 for the general fund and 19 cents for debt service.

But because of state rules, tied to revenue per student, the district can’t set an M&O rate above $1.12 without consent of the voters.

Dr. Monzingo noted that some neighboring districts have already passed tax ratification elections.

Bottom line, assuming trustees endorse the proposal Wednesday is that results of the election, either way, would not affect the amount of taxes paid by Rockdale ISD taxpayers.

The district owes $24,524,996 on the 2007 bond package. Dr. Monzingo said shifting the 13 cents will not affect the district’s ability to make timely payments on its bonds.

BUDGET—A preliminary budget reflecting expenditures of $13,033,485 was presented to trustees May 1.

That’s an increase of $178,883 over last year.

Supt. Dr. Denise Monzingo said projected revenue is $13,400,061.

Dr. Monzingo said the budget includes raises for all employees “as well as hiring of a few positions to address needs of the district.”

VACANCY—Lee Jenkins— who served 16 years, five as president—resigned May 8, effective immediately.

The regular 2017 school board election would have been held May 6 but trustees Lin Perry (Place 6) and Kent Bowermon (Place 7) were unopposed. Jenkins had served in Place 4.

Dr. Monzingo told The Reporter it appears the school board has two options to fill the vacancy, call a special election this year or leave the post vacant until the May, 2016 school election.

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