Montgomery ISD board adopts lower district property tax rate

Trustees also approve firm for professional architectural services, paving way for possible bond election in May 2022

The Montgomery ISD Board of trustees held a regularly scheduled meeting tonight and unanimously adopted a lower district tax rate.

There are two rates that make up a total tax rate for the district, Maintenance and Operation (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). The M&O tax rate provides funds for general maintenance and operations, like employee salaries and instructional costs. The I&S tax rate provides funds for payments on the debt that finances the district’s facilities.

The new Montgomery tax rates for the 2021-22 fiscal year are $0.8857 (M&O) and $0.3743 (I&S) for a total of $1.26 per $100 property valuation. The previous 2020-21 tax rate before tonight’s decrease was $0.9423 (M&O) and $0.3375 (I&S) for a total of $1.2798. In 2019-20, the district’s total tax rate was $1.3075 and in 2018-2019, the district’s total tax rate was $1.37 per $100 valuation. Over three years, the district’s tax rate has decreased 11 cents per $100 valuation.

It is important to note that taxpayers may still see an overall increase in their property tax bills due to increased property values, which are set each year by the Montgomery County Appraisal District.

“I’m very pleased that we decreased our district tax rate tonight,” Board Vice-President Gary Hammons said. “Providing students with an excellent education while exercising fiscal responsibility should always be our goal.”

Montgomery ISD trustees also approved the district administration’s recommendation to partner with the Texas-based firm Huckabee for professional architectural services. This action is the first of a number of steps toward the district planning for a potential bond election in May 2022.

Last year, Montgomery ISD contracted with a third party to conduct a demographic study of the district. The study projects a significant growth in the number of families moving into the district in the next 10 years.

“Growth isn’t just coming to Montgomery… it’s already here,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “Since the demographic study was completed this summer, our district has already enrolled more students than were projected to enroll in the next two academic years.  We have an obligation to our community to ensure we equip our staff and facilities with the tools and capacity needed to effectively educate students and serve families.”

Over the next several weeks, the district will form a citizens’ bond advisory committee and hold a number of planning meetings in anticipation of a bond election in May 2022. The committee will consist of MISD parents, staff, and business and community members.

If the district decides to pursue a bond, trustees will need to take official action no later than February 18, 2022. The citizens’ bond advisory committee would present recommendations to the Board in January 2022 regarding capital and infrastructure items to include in a bond election.

“Over the last several months, we have taken necessary steps to plan for the future of Montgomery ISD by listening, learning, asking questions and gathering important data needs,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “Before moving forward with any bond, we will continue to gather all of the necessary information for our voters to make an informed decision, and we will listen to all voices in our community to develop a plan that invests in the future of our growing district.”