The School Zone: News

Spring Branch ISD’s tax rate reflects its lowest rate since 2007 after local Trustees voted unanimously Sept. 29 to adopt a district tax rate of $1.30730, or more than 1.3 cents less than a year ago.

The Board of Trustees adopted the 2020 school tax rate after a public hearing and adoption of a new General Fund budget. The tax rate decreased due to passage of House Bill 3 (HB3) by the 86th Texas Legislature. HB3 has increased public school funding by approximately $6 billion.

As adopted on Tuesday, the new tax rate is $1.30730 per $100 in taxable assessed value, down from $1.32098 per $100 in taxable assessed value last year. This rate will generate an estimated $351.1 million for SBISD’s General Fund budget plus $107.8 million for its Debt Service, or Bond related, budget.

At the same time, HB3 provides tax relief for SBISD taxpayers through its funding formulas, which significantly reduced district recapture, or Robin Hood, payments to the state through local school property taxes.

While SBISD’s recapture payment has fallen significantly due to HB3, it does not go away. Recapture payments from SBISD’s taxpayers will total about $37 million this year, or about twice the amount of total funding that the district receives from the State of Texas.

“I want to thank you, the members of the SBISD community who actively engage as advocates on behalf of SBISD and the children of our community,” said SBISD Superintendent Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D. “Your voices over many years were critical to passage of HB3.”

“Please do continue to remain engaged as advocates on behalf of SBISD, as the next Legislature will be challenged to maintain and allocate funding in the years ahead,” she also said. The Texas Legislature meets again this January.

Meanwhile, Harris County Assessment District (HCAD) data shows rising taxable property values of 4.1 percent from its prior year certified values.

Among area school districts, SBISD remains one of the few remaining in Harris County to give its taxpayers relief by offering every tax break allowed by law, including the optional 20 percent homestead exemption.

Based on estimated tax on a $500,000 home, SBISD homeowners have the third lowest amount for school taxes in the region – far less than Katy, Spring, Cy-Fair or many other similar suburban ISDs.

In addition, Spring Branch residents who are 65 years or older, or disabled, who qualify for the homestead exemption and then file for the Over 65, or disabled, exemptions may “freeze” SBISD taxes on their homes.

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