After passing a proposed tax restructure with a tax ratification election (TRE) at the end of August, MCISD will be able to generate more revenue by moving 14 cents from the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax to the Interest and Sinking (I&S) side.
“We are pleased with the results of the election and thankful to the community for continuing their overwhelming support for our school system,” said MCISD Superintendent Keith Smith.
MCISD’s tax rate will remain $1.21 after the TRE. According to the Texas Education Agency, the average school tax rate in the state is $1.30. Many districts in the state have opted to hold a TRE in order to generate more funding from the state. Smith feels that there is a common misconception when it comes to the way schools are funded.
“Some think that school boards, administrators and teachers like the method by which schools are funded when nothing could be further from the truth," said Smith. “Our current system is too burdensome on homeowners and small business owners while it continues to give massive tax breaks to large corporations. Each year local contributions go up while state contributions go down.”
School administrators across the state have voiced their disdain for politicians in Austin raising property taxes and referencing increased spending by districts as the cause.
“We continue to vote for the people who are voting for the increases,” said Smith. “We cannot control our property values. What we can do a good job of is maintaining our tax rate, which has been the same for about 20 years now.”
Madisonville’s current tax rate of $1.21 is one of the lowest in their comparison group, only higher than Groesbeck with a rate of $1.16. MCISD has a lower rate than all of the districts in the are with the exception of Huntsville ($1.18) and it is the third lowest rate in the Brazos Valley.
“We are going to continue to provide a quality education to our students while maintaining an excellent value to our stakeholders,” said Smith. “This is becoming more difficult to do. With each year we see more unfunded mandates, more emphasis on standardized testing, increased poverty levels within our state and a continued lack of financial support from our elected officials in Austin.”
MCISD operates on less money than they did in 2008, but they have over 200 more students.
According to the National Education Agency, Texas is ranked thirty-sixth in the country in terms of public school funding.