Temple ISD

Temple ISD trustees unanimously voted to lower the district’s tax rate to $1.2353 per $100 of taxable value on Monday night.

The new tax rate — which is a near-4.8 cent decrease — designates $0.9287 per $100 for maintenance and operations and $0.3066 per $100 for debt service payment, according to Temple ISD.

Administrators emphasized how this move — marking the school system’s lowest tax rate since 2010 — was an important decision to make with Temple ISD’s $184.9 million bond election in November nearing.

“Over the past three years, we have been able to drop our tax rate low enough to afford a successful bond election and still have a total tax rate that is 4 cents lower than our 2018 tax rate,” Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said. “This illustrates the perfect balance of moving our schools forward, preparing for growth and upholding our fiscal responsibility to the citizens of Temple.”

Temple ISD spokesman Jon Wallin — who said the district’s no-new-revenue tax rate is set at $1.2155 per $100 — noted how the district has now lowered its tax rate by about 16.5 cents over the past three years.

“The district was able to lower the rate primarily due to three factors: tax rate compression, an increase in property values within the district and bond refinancing,” he said in a news release. “Temple ISD is also operating at 6.4 cents under the state-allowed cap for maintenance and operations this year.”

Kent Boyd, Temple ISD’s assistant superintendent of finance and operations, was pleased to assist in lowering Temple ISD’s tax rate for a third consecutive year.

“We have been able to operate our services at the level of quality our community expects, while still being efficient and respectful of our taxpayers’ dollars,” Boyd said. “We elected to operate at a lower figure for maintenance and operations while many districts in the state asked for the maximum amount.”

However, the tax rate could increase again.

Temple ISD’s $184.9 million bond, if approved by voters on Nov. 2, is currently pegged to cost residents with a $200,000 home valuation about $250 annually, according to district information.

Ott said the proposed bond package — which would fund nearly 30 projects, including the construction of a new southeast elementary school for $38.2 million, adding 14 classrooms to existing campuses and infrastructure replacements — represents a 12.5-cent shift in the tax rate.

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 2 election is Oct. 2. Early voting begins Oct. 18 and runs through Oct. 29.

TISD BOND PRESENTATIONS

Voters can learn more about the proposed bond and the projects it would fund during Temple ISD’s 12 remaining neighborhood presentations: Thornton Elementary on Tuesday, Temple High School on Wednesday, Hector P. Garcia Elementary on Sept. 20, Meredith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy on Sept. 23, Western Hills Elementary on Sept. 27, Cater Elementary on Sept. 28, Jefferson Elementary on Oct. 5, Raye-Allen Elementary on Oct. 6, Kennedy-Powell Elementary on Oct. 12, Lamar Middle School on Oct. 13, Scott Elementary on Oct. 14 and Travis Science Academy on Oct. 19.

Each presentation is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., according to Temple ISD.