School tax rate down slightly

In News by Reporter News

The school tax rate in the coming year will decrease by one hundredth of a penny.

Pearland ISD Trustees on Sept. 8 approved a total school tax rate of $1.4156 per $100 valuation – slightly lower than the rate adopted in 2014.

Board members pointed out that “required language” makes the rate sound like an increase. New construction and increased property values mean the budget can be supported with a lower rate, thus the “effective” tax rate for the district is slightly higher, although the actual rate has fallen.

“It gives you the impression that we are increasing the rate when we are actually decreasing it by a tiny amount,” Superintendent John Kelly said. “In their awkward wording, the point is because your appraisals grow and your new construction comes in, you can raise more money at the same rate. However, I would counter that the state pays you less money when your local appraisals go up, so I’m not sure it’s as clear.”

The district’s budget includes a general fund of $160.9 million and a debt service fund of approximately $25 million.

School taxes make up just over half of the annual residential property tax bill in Brazoria County.

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