Krum school board OKs rate hike

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KRUM — Taxpayers in the Krum school district will soon be paying a higher tax rate.

On Wednesday, the school board voted 6-0 in favor of increasing the district’s tax rate from $1.52 to $1.54 per $100 of property valuation.

Krum is the latest area school district to adopt its tax rate for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Taxes collected locally will generate revenue to fund debt expenses and a portion of the operating expenditures districts will incur throughout the fiscal year. It’s important to note that if the assessed value of one’s home has increased from one year to the next, so will taxes.

State law mandates a rate increase cannot be imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older that’s above the rate paid by that individual the first year after turning 65, regardless of tax rate or property value modifications. The law also protects the individual’s surviving spouse if the person is 55 or older at the time of the individual’s death.

Of the $1.54 per $100 valuation tax rate in Krum, $1.04 will generate revenue to fund general operating expenses, while 50 cents will generate monies for debt expenditures. The increase reflects a bump in the debt service rate, which was increased from 47 cents to 50 cents per $100 valuation.

Krum Superintendent Cody Carroll said the rate increase will allow the district to pay down debt and free up bonding capacity to one-day finance projects that accommodate growth.

The average market value of a residence in Krum is $134,350, Christina Kruse — a district spokeswoman — wrote in an e-mail. Her e-mail went on to state that the rate increase, based on average market value, will increase the typical tax bill this year by $28.86 over last year’s total.

 

Other districts

Other area districts that recently made changes to tax rates include Argyle, Aubrey and Ponder.

On Aug. 19 the Argyle school board adopted a tax rate of $1.47505 per $100 valuation, dropping the rate from the previous year by a half-cent.

“On a taxable value of a $100,000 [home, the rate] would decrease the [annual] tax bill about $5, so if you had a $500,000 taxable value, then it would be about $25,” said Liz Stewart, Argyle’s chief financial officer, in a phone message. “On the average taxable value of residence in Argyle ISD, that average taxable value is $350,968. The difference on the average taxable value would be about $17.55.”

A refinance of bonds recently, which lowered the district’s debt payment and overall interest, has allowed the district to reduce its tax rate, she said.

At an Aug. 28 meeting, school board members in Aubrey lowered the tax rate by 3 cents to $1.51 per $100 valuation. Interim Superintendent Debby Sanders said residents with a $140,000 home, the average house value in the district after the homestead exemption, can expect their tax bills to total $2,114 for the year, a savings of $42 from the previous year.

James Monaco, the district’s chief financial officer, said that a combination of increased assessed values, a recent refinance of bonds and increased state revenue allocated to Aubrey have allowed the district to lower its tax rate.

A bond refinance has lowered payments for Aubrey’s debt expenses and assessed values have grown by $23 million, he said.

“With the assessed values, we could lower the rate and still meet our [debt] payment,” Monaco said.

“We’re just passing the savings on to the taxpayer.”

On Aug. 29, Ponder school board members increased the district tax rate by 3 cents from $1.353292 to $1.385 per $100 of property valuation.

District officials have said Ponder’s interest and sinking rate, was increased from $0.313292 to $0.345 to offset debt service expenses, which are projected to total $2.38 million.

According to district documents, the annual tax bill based on Ponder’s average house market value, which is $149,178, will total $1,849.48, an annual increase of $63.69 in comparison to the 2012-13 year.

No changes were made to tax rates in Denton, Pilot Point and Sanger for the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to district officials.

Lake Dallas is slated to adopt its tax rate for the 2013-14 year on Monday, and district officials are proposing no change to its current tax rate of $1.67 per $100 of property valuation.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

The following are the 2013-14 tax rates adopted by area districts per $100 valuation:

Aubrey ISD: $1.51

Argyle ISD: $1.47505

Denton ISD: $1.530

Krum ISD: $1.54

Lake Dallas ISD: $1.67*

Pilot Point ISD: $1.37

Ponder ISD: $1.385

Sanger ISD: $1.372067

* Proposed rate

SOURCE: Area school districts


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