The Culberson County-Allamoore ISD school board on Monday approved the tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of valuation, which triggered the need to call for a voter-approval tax rate election on Nov. 8.
Under HB 3, districts are allowed a maximum of eight golden pennies, which are pennies within a Texas school district’s maintenance and operations, or M&O, tax bill that cannot be subject to state recapture. Currently, CCAISD is allowed five pennies automatically.
A district’s property tax rate consists of a maintenance and operations rate — the rate that supports the general fund budget — and an interest and sinking rate, the rate used to cover debt approved by taxpayers. The maintenance and operations rate was approved at 0.8846 cents, which exceeds the current voter approval tax rate by 3 cents, resulting in the need to call for an election. The interest and sinking was approved at 0.2454 cents, which is ten cents lower than the previous year.
The state allows districts to raise the maintenance and operations rate through use of “golden pennies,” which is money in the tax rate that is not subject to the recapture payment—required of districts with high property wealth to subsidize the cost of education in districts with low property wealth.
“As teacher shortages have become a permanent issue for communities, CCAISD is affected, especially with our remote location. We are addressing the shortage problem head on by using the 3 Golden pennies to raise salary base rates and also by building staff housing from the newly passed bond,” said Superintendent Ken Baugh.
“Because the tax values moved up so high from oil and gas the CCAISD community can take advantage of less recapture in the base rate. What a time for Van Horn to take advantage of new school finance rules and oil and gas values”.
While CCAISD’s tax rate will be lower than last year ($1.22250), approval by voters is required to authorize CCAISD to access 3 golden pennies as part of the district’s tax rate for the purpose of providing increases in staff compensation.