EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BURNET — Burnet Consolidated Independent School District voters overwhelmingly passed the tax ratification election Aug. 25 by a 90 percent margin.
The unofficial results (four provisional and several overseas ballots remain to be counted) gave the passage for the measure a 722-74 victory. Under the tax ratification, voters allowed BCISD board and administrators to cut the current property tax rate from $1.28 per $100 valuation to $1.26 while generating an additional $600,000 in revenue.
BCISD leaders needed voter approval to drop 4 cents from the interest and sinking portion of the rate and move two of those cents to the maintenance and operation side.
The board called for the tax ratification election as the school district enters Chapter 41 designation under state law in which BCISD is deemed “property rich.” As a Chapter 41 school district, BCISD will be required to send locally generated tax revenue to the state starting this year to the tune of $500,000.
That number jumps to $2.2 million the following year.
Under state law, school districts have a few cents of the maintenance and operation portion of the rate — which covers general operating expenditures such as salaries, utilities, and similar items — that’s not subject to Chapter 41 recapture payments. The funds generated by these few pennies stay completely in the local school district.
BCISD needed the voters’ permission to access the final 2 cents that fall under that classification.
On the interest and sinking side, which pays off debt, the board and administration over the years have worked down the district’s bonds to allow the reduction of the I&S portion of the tax rate by 4 cents.
With the passage of the tax ratification election, the district can lower the overall BCISD property tax rate to $1.26 per $100 taxable valuation.