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Saturday, 21st October 2017

in Bee Cave TX 78738

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LTISD asks for bond and shows zero tax rate impact

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Here are the two Press Releases from LTISD and some graphics which outline the components of the Bond package for November voting and explains how the tax rate will not change whether or not the so called "Penny Exchange" plan is approved.

 

The Bond: "In a unanimous vote June 20, the Lake Travis school board approved an order calling a $253 million bond election for November 7, 2017.
 
Last month, a citizens’ advisory committee presented its proposal to the board, calling for district-wide capital improvements to accommodate the district’s continued increase in student enrollment.  According to demographer Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), student enrollment at Lake Travis ISD has increased by approximately 76% since 2007.  Considering a moderate growth rate scenario, projections indicate a continued increase of more than 60% during the next 10 years, resulting in a district-wide enrollment of nearly 16,000 students.
   
The major components of the district’s 2017 bond program include the following:

•    Middle School #3
•    Elementary School #7
•    Upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities
•    School buses, including installation of seat belts
•    Technology
•    Land for future facilities and utilities
 
With the recent passage of Senate Bill 693, school districts are required to install seat belts on any school buses purchased after September 2017.  As a result, the district has allocated $1.3 million to the November bond package to cover the cost of equipping its existing fleet of buses and any new bus purchases with seat belts.
 
“We are obligated to meet the requirements of this new law,” said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools.  “We are lucky enough to have the advantage of an upcoming bond election to address this issue.”  
 
In 2011, the district’s most-recent bond election, voters approved a $158.5 million referendum for the construction of two new schools as well as the expansion of two existing campuses, among other district-wide upgrades and improvements.  As a result, the district’s tax rate increased by $0.0916 to a total tax rate of $1.4075 per $100 of assessed property valuation.


“The exciting news is, the entire 2017 package can be done without an increase to our current tax rate,” continued Dr. Lancaster.  “That is a rare occurrence in school bond elections and a highly significant position for the district and our taxpayers.  The zero impact to our current tax rate comes as a result of our district paying down our current debt early.  In fact, over the past five years, LTISD has saved its taxpayers more than $27 million in interest through aggressive debt management, resulting in increased capacity for future bond programs.”

Additional information on the bond program, including an itemized list of projects, will be available on the Lake Travis ISD website beginning June 26.  Community presentations regarding the 2017 bond program will begin in the fall.

For more information, contact the Lake Travis ISD Office of Communications at (512) 533-6046."

The Penny Exchange: "During its regular meeting August 15, the Lake Travis school board adopted a total tax rate of $1.4275 per $100 of assessed property valuation to fund the district’s 2017-2018 budget, triggering an election to be held November 7.

The tax rate is comprised of two funds, Maintenance and Operations (M&O) and Interest and Sinking (I&S). For 2016-2017, the district’s M&O tax rate was $1.04 and its I&S tax rate was 0.3675, resulting in a total tax rate of $1.4075.  State law dictates that a school district must hold a Tax Ratification Election—or TRE—when asking voters to consider raising the tax rate.  However, Lake Travis ISD will ask voters to consider increasing the M&O tax rate while simultaneously decreasing the I&S tax rate by the same amount.

“This particular election is also referred to as a ‘Penny Exchange,’” said Johnny Hill, Lake Travis ISD Assistant Superintendent for Business, Financial and Auxiliary Services.  “Through a voter-approved TRE or penny exchange, we can move two pennies to the M&O tax rate by taking those same two pennies from the I&S tax rate, netting a total tax rate of $1.4075.  Although the total tax rate assessed to local homeowners would not increase as a result of the penny exchange, Lake Travis ISD could see an additional $2.1 million annually in state aid.  Additionally, these funds are not subject to recapture."  

According to Mr. Hill, should voters reject the proposal, the M&O tax rate would 'roll back' to the previous rate of $1.04.

"Our total tax rate would remain the same as it has for the past six years at $1.4075, whether or not voters approve the election," added Mr. Hill.  "Either way, the result of this penny exchange election will have no impact on our tax rate in comparison to our 2016 total tax rate.”

In June, trustees approved an order calling a $253 million bond election also to be decided by district voters on November 7.  The major components of the bond program include Middle School #3; Elementary School #7; upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities; school buses, including installation of seat belts; technology; and land for future facilities and utilities.

“Although our local school district tax rate will not change as a result of these two elections, an increase in property value will inevitably result in an increase in a homeowner’s tax bill, regardless of a flat tax rate,” said Dr. Brad Lancaster, Lake Travis ISD Superintendent of Schools.  “The good news for our local taxpayers is that we can present the bond election and TRE without increasing the tax rate.  That is a rare occurrence in school elections and a highly-significant position for our taxpayers.”

Early voting begins October 23."

 

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