PRISD Tax Rate anticipated to drop from $1.43 to $1.33180
The Paint Rock Independent School District is again looking to lower its property tax rate for the upcoming year. This time the decrease is anticipated to be nearly 10 cents per $100 property valuation. The lower tax rate should result in a lower overall property tax bill for local homeowners. How much property owners pay in taxes is calculated by multiplying the property’s “taxable appraised value” (after exemptions) by the property tax rate set by the district.
The average market value of a residence this year was $75,104. Last year, it was $74,271. Despite the higher average property valuations, the lowering of the tax rate from $1.43000 to $1.33180 should reduce the average property tax burden from $797.77 to $774.65. That is a tax savings of $23.12 on the average house in the district paying property taxes.
This latest decrease in the district’s tax rate demonstrates an on-going commitment to maintain or lower local property tax rates. The Paint Rock ISD’s tax rate was $1.50 per $100 valuation in 2008. It was lowered to $1.44 in 2009 when a TRE election was held. That TRE passed by a 2:1 margin in a local election by the voters within the PRISD school district. It remained at $1.44 per $100 valuation from 2009 through 2018. The tax rate set by PRISD has not gone up since 2009, in fact it has gone down. Some land/home owners experienced an increase in their overall property taxes in the past, but that was not caused by a tax rate increase by the PRISD school district. It was caused because the valuations of their property/house increased.
The PRISD School Board sets its property tax rate, but has no control or input in determining the appraised value of properties. The local appraisal districts and Texas Comptroller’s Office are the bodies that control property appraisals, not schools.
From 2009 until 2018, PRISD had a combined M&O and I&S (bond) tax rate of $1.44 per $100 property valuation. Last year, the PRISD School Board lowered its tax rate from $1.44 per $100 valuation to $1.43 per $100 valuation. A tax rate decrease after maintaining the same tax rate for nine years. Now, the PRISD school administration is anticipating lowering the tax rate to $1.33180. The Maintenance and Operating rate that is being considered would be $1.06180 (down from $1.16) and the Interest and Sinking (bond) rate would stay at $0.27000. The new combined M&O and I&S (bond) proposed tax rate is 1.33180 per $100 property valuation. That is nearly 10 cents lower than last year’s PRISD tax rate and more than the eight cent “compressed tax rate” that the legislature announced earlier this year.
In 2007, PRISD voters approved a bond and repayment rate of 27 cents per $100 property valuation for 30 years. A few years ago, PRISD administration, with the approval of the School Board, refinanced the bond at a lower interest rate and with the district’s improved credit rating it saved the tax payers over $250,000.00 over the life of the bond. It also allows the district to pay off the bond earlier than 2037.
With the expanding/contracting nature of local property tax valuations and the lower interest rates, some years PRISD takes in more funds than needed to make that years I&S tax payment. This is permitted under state law. Those extra funds were used to help refinance the bond a few years ago saving the tax payers significantly and since then are being held to make extra payments on the bond in 2025 or the next time it is refinanced. The refinancing of the bond resulted in the possibility of paying off the bond two years ahead of schedule. Since that time, the district has saved enough additional I & S funds to pay off the bonds another two years ahead of schedule. PRISD is now a total of four years ahead of schedule in paying off the bond. By maintaining the voter approved repayment rate of 27 cents per $100 valuation and collecting more I&S taxes each year than is required each year to make that years payment, the district can continue to build the accumulated amount up until 2025, it can make a huge additional payment at that time that should help pay off the bond years earlier than anticipated.
It is possible under this option that the bond could be paid off entirely as much as 6-8 years early. If the solar farms that are proposed within the district come on-line as anticipated, the bond may be paid off many years earlier than that. Paying off the bond early saves local homeowner/taxpayers at least $157.05 per year each year that the bond is paid off. Presently, the taxpayers of the district still owe about $1.89 million on the 2007 bond.