Trustees also receive update on 2022 bond program
The Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees held a regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 16 and adopted a lower district tax rate.
The total tax rate for the school district is made up of two components: Maintenance & Operation (M&O), and Interest and Sinking (I&S). The M&O rate provides for general maintenance and operations of the district, including employee salaries and instructional costs. The I&S rate is used to pay down debt that finances the district’s facilities.
The new Montgomery tax rates for the 2022-23 fiscal year are $0.8546 (M&O) and $0.3743 (I&S) for a total of $1.2289 per $100 property valuation. The 2021-22 Montgomery tax rates, before tonight’s decrease, were $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 was $0.9423 (M&O) and $0.3375 (I&S) for a total of $1.2798. Over the past three years, the district’s tax rate has decreased 5 cents per $100 valuation.
“It is worth noting that our I&S tax rate did not change,” Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison said. “During the bond campaign, it was shared publicly that a $.07 cent tax increase may be necessary. The district sold $100 million in bonds over the summer without the need to increase our I&S rate in this budget cycle. The speaks to our district’s commitment to excellent fiscal management.”
Under state law, school districts are required to decrease their M&O tax rates when the assessed property values within the district increase.
“We are pleased to adopt a lower property tax rate for the district and provide our taxpayers with needed relief. However, we are concerned about the level of funding our district receives per student as compared to the rest of the state,“ Montgomery ISD Board President Matt Fuller said. “We continue to engage our legislators in conversations about potential funding solutions that will allow the district to maintain a balanced budget while providing our teachers and staff members with competitive compensation packages.”
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Kris Lynn gave a status report on projects funded by the district’s 2022 bond initiative and highlighted the timeline for naming the district’s Elementary School #7, slated to open in 2024. This fall, the community will have an opportunity to submit suggestions for the school name, mascot and colors. A voting survey with top suggestions will be shared with the public and top choices submitted for board approval by the end of the 2022-23 school year.
“During the bond campaign, we committed to transparency and collaboration with the community – not just during the campaign, but moving forward as projects begin,” Trustee Shawn Denison said. “Tonight’s board meeting and update reflect the sincerity of that commitment.”
There were also several special recognitions during the meeting. The board recognized the 2022 State Champion Softball Team, the Lake Creek High School Lions, and the Region 6 Paraprofessional of the Year, Lily Salas Nino from Montgomery Elementary School. Dr. Catherine Bartlett, who retired as Lone Star Elementary Principal at the end of the 2021-22 school year, was also recognized for her leadership and contributions to the campus and Montgomery ISD.