AISD Approves Tax Levy
35 cents of every dollar district collects must be given back to state
Austin ISD’s trustees approved the 2016 tax levy—the adopted tax rate multiplied by the taxable value of all property in the district’s jurisdiction—of $1,183,195,145.84 ($1.18 billion) at Monday’s board meeting.
The district has maintained a balanced budget and has tried to keep residents’ taxes stable by lowering the Interest and Sinking tax rate for the past three years. Despite these efforts, with property values on the rise, Austinites may still see a rise in their tax bill this year.
While many taxpayers may believe taxes paid to the district stay within the district, 35 cents out of every maintenance and operations tax dollar collected are sent to the state because AISD is considered a “property wealthy” district. This means the district will send about $406.1 million to the state during the 2017 fiscal year.
By 2019, more than half of the dollars Austinites pay in school district-related taxes will be sent to the state.
During the next five years—between fiscal years 2016 and 2020—AISD is projected to make almost $2.6 billion in recapture payments.
With more than 1,000 school districts in Texas, AISD is the single largest payer into recapture, representing nearly 12 percent of the total recapture revenue that the state collects.
Despite being considered “property wealthy,” the district faces many growing challenges in serving its students and families, including:
- Serving nearly 60 percent of its students living in poverty, 28 percent of students who are English-language learners and more than half considered at-risk of dropping out or not meeting the state’s academic standards;
- The cost of operating aging schools, which grows as property values increase;
- Teachers leaving AISD for more competitive pay in nearby school districts; and
- The rise of Austin’s cost of living, making affordability for families and staff more difficult to stay in Austin.
For more information about AISD’s budget, please visit www.austinisd.org/budget.