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2023-24 Budget Q&A

Q. The policy says we can't raise taxes above .94 without taking it to the voters.  Does our suggested increase mean that we will be going to the voters for a tax increase?
A. No. The Maximum Compression Rate (MCR) only applies to the Maintenance & Operations (M & O) rate. The $.94 changes every year.


Q. What is the Maximum Compressed Tax Rate (MCR)?

  1. MCR is the state maximum compressed tax rate, which is the state compression percentage, as determined under TEC §48.255, multiplied by $1.00.

Q. What are golden pennies in a Texas school district?

  1. Golden pennies provide tax revenue that is not subject to recapture by the State of Texas. Using golden pennies is an exercise of LOCAL control. Voters decide to access the pennies; all the revenue generated by them stays in the school district.

Q. How many golden pennies are available for GISD?

  1. Currently, the district is utilizing 6 golden pennies. A district has a maximum of 8 total golden pennies. However, to utilize any of the additional pennies, it would require voter approval.

Q. How many more can we use?

  1. If voters approve it, you can have an additional 2 golden pennies.

Q. If we were able to get voter approval for the 2 additional golden pennies, how much revenue would the remaining golden pennies bring into the district?

     A. The additional .02 golden pennies would bring in an additional approximately $885,000 a year.

Q. According to the webpage document “Historic Tax Rates,” the Debt Service Rate has been at 0.238481 since 2018-2019.  Without a new bond, why is it being increased to 0.29, with a 15.4% increase in the budget? On the Debt Transparency link on the GISD website, it shows a decrease for the years 2024 and 2025. Wouldn’t that mean that the rates would be lowered? Shouldn’t it also be lowered since debt has actually been paid off? 

     A. This is a proposed increase in I & S for the 2023-24 school year that will allow us to collect more in taxes and pay off current debt earlier.

Q. Last year’s proposed M&O tax rate was set at 0.8646 and this year it is set at 0.74. The budget comparisons show a 2.90% decrease in M&O budget for the 23-24 school year. With new Maintenance Tax Notes, teacher raises and increasing costs, how will the district be able to meet all of those needs with a decrease in the M&O budget?  Where are costs being cut? 

     A. The 2022-23 budget included expenditures for the $4.4M expense for architectural designs for the proposed Middle School and LPW.  Additionally, the $472.523 reduction in transportation was due to school buses originally being funded out of general fund and once the board approved a loan for the expense the loan revenue replaced the need for general funds to be used.  These two expenditures were not required in the 2023-24 budget, therefore reducing the expenditures from one school year to the next.

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