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Fri August 1, 2008
Commerce ISD not seeking rollback election
By Scott Harvey
Commerce – The Commerce School Board will not be seeking a rollback election this year. The news comes as other area school districts are also deciding whether to raise rates to help pay for things like deferred maintenance, employee raises and the increased cost of gas.
Rather than approach voters about raising taxes, Commerce ISD decided to fund a portion of the 2008-09 general operations budgets from the District's fund balance (savings account).
The current tax rate for Commerce ISD is $1.04 per $100 of taxable property value.
Since the passage of House Bill 1 in 2006, which was passed to provide property tax relief to homeowners, school districts can only levy tax up to $1.00 per $100 valuation to pay for general school operations. Districts were given the option to add 4 cents to the tax rate without voter approval, which Commerce has done, thus giving the district its current rate of $1.04.
As part of this legislation, the amount of money districts could receive from the state for each student was frozen.
The Legislature has included an option for districts to go back to voters to exceed the statewide cap. Districts can request an additional 13 cents, for a maximum rate of $1.17 per $100 of value. But this can only be done with voter approval.
Recently, The Bonham ISD opted not to raise its tax rate, while the Greenville ISD is seeking an increase. Greenville Residents will have to decide in October on whether or not to approve a proposed increase of six cents.
In the GISD, a penny added to the tax rate equates to $187,000. Of that amount, $117,000 would come in the form of state funding. The six cent tax rate increase would generate approximately $1.1 million in additional revenue.
If the measure is passed, any additional taxes would not affect those over age 65 or disabled. Of 8,409 single family residences in the district, 2,377 are exempt from additional taxes.