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Area school districts keep tax rates stable

Two Denton County school boards decided to keep district tax rates at their current percentages in the face of rising property valuations.

Both Krum and Pilot Point ISDs unanimously approved their 2017-2018 tax rates at two separate board meetings Wednesday evening. Krum ISD's overall rate will remain at $1.54 per $100 valuation, while Pilot Point ISD's overall rate will sit at $1.37.

Because of some confusing language on Pilot Point's agenda item, some residents believed the tax rate was going up. The statement in question said the district "proposes to adopt a tax rate that will raise more taxes for Maintenance and Operations than last year's rate; the tax rate will effectively be raised by 5.8% and will raise taxes for Maintenance and Operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $68."

In reality, the district's tax rate will remain the same. Property owners will see an average 5.8 percent increase in the actual dollar amount on their tax bill because property valuations are increasing, leading to more taxable value. The Denton Central Appraisal District determines those valuations, not the school district.

Superintendent Dan Gist said the statement on the agenda was part of state-mandated language from the tax code.

"There's been some confusion and I just want to make very clear that PPISD is not raising its tax rate, period," Gist said. "You are going to be paying more taxes, but the tax rate has not changed. It can't change unless voters approve a change."

Nikki Hamblin, chief financial officer for the Pilot Point school district, also reminded board members that state contributions will decline based on an increase in tax money.

"You have to remember that the state does equalize that out," Hamblin said. "As we receive more money from our local tax dollars, we will be receiving less money from the state."

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.