Burnet school district approves higher budget and tax rate

DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR

BURNET — Property owners in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District could see a bump in their school taxes this year after the board of trustees adopted a higher budget and tax rate Aug. 24 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The board adopted a budget of $32.3 million, a 5.5 percent increase over the previous budget. The biggest increase in the budget came in the debt service area, officials said.

BCISD Business and Finance Director Sarah Cervi said the approved budget reflects the bond. In November 2014, Burnet voters approved a $26.75 million bond targeting improvements and upgrades across the district. BCISD has already utilized some of the bond funding for several projects, with more coming.

“The bond was probably the biggest impact on this year’s budget,” she said.

To cover the bond, board members approved a 2015-16 ad valorem tax rate of $1.33 per $100 valuation, up from last year’s rate of $1.2625.

The district was able to keep the maintenance and operation portion of the rate at $1.04 while the debt service portion went up to 29 cents. Cervi said the maintenance and operation portion includes a salary increase for staff while still maintaining all the district’s programs. The district staff, administration and board managed to accomplish that even as state funding decreased for the coming fiscal year.

“We did have a drop in enrollment, so our state funding will decrease,” Cervi said. “But we were still able to maintain all our programs.”

Not all districts across the state are able to keep all their programs when faced with a loss of state funding. By keeping all the current district’s programs, BCISD leaders have ensured students will continue to have access to those educational opportunities needed for the future.

The district also recently revealed a new logo and brand.

“The Burnet CISD logo is an illustration of who we are, what our promise is, what differentiates us from other districts and helps the community visualize our commitment,” according to a BCISD release.

The new logo, as well as budget and other district information, can be seen at BCISD’s updated website at web2.burnetcisd.net. BCISD residents can also go to www.bcisdbond.com for updates and information on the 2014 bond package and progress.

editor@thepicayune.com

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