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Marble Falls school board adopts 2021-22 tax rate and amends budget

Marble Falls ISD adopts 2021-22 tax rate

Melissa Lafferty, executive director of finance for the Marble Falls Independent School District, presented budget and tax rate details to the school board during its Aug. 23 meeting. The board adopted a tax rate of $1.1184 per $100 property valuation for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Facebook Live video screenshot

The Marble Falls Independent School District adopted a tax rate of $1.1184 per $100 property valuation for the 2021-22 fiscal year during its Aug. 23 meeting. The rate is roughly 7 cents less than last year and is the highest the district can adopt without requiring voter approval. 

Of that, $0.8995 will go toward maintenance and operation and the remaining $0.2153 is interest and sinking.

The district, which spans the cities of Marble Falls, Cottonwood Shores, and Granite Shoals, saw a local property value increase of 11 percent, said Melissa Lafferty, the district’s executive director of finance. The increase, which was unknown when the budget was originally proposed in June, led to the amount of the adopted rate. 

While the tax rate itself is decreasing, taxpayers most likely will see an increase in their property tax bill as it is dependent on both tax rates and appraised values. 

“As property values increase, tax rates decrease,” Lafferty said in a statement. 

The adoption led to some of the first 2021-22 budget amendments, which Lafferty outlined during the meeting. 

The district’s budget is made up of three different funds: general, debt services, and school nutrition. Both the debt services and general fund will see an increase in revenues as a result of increased property values, while the school nutrition budget will remain the same. 

General fund revenue for 2021-22 has increased $1.6 million in collections and will receive an additional $800,000 from available state school funding. Combined, the amendments will leave the general fund revenues balances at about $50.4 million, Lafferty said. 

“That leaves us about $256,000 as a surplus in our general fund as of now,” Lafferty said. “But you know how it works: As those collections increase and that funding increases, so does recapture. You can see that it has also increased about $2.2 million, so it’s going to be a hefty recapture bill.”  

Recapture, sometimes referred to as Robin Hood, is the state’s way of redistributing tax revenues from property-wealthy school districts to poorer districts. The Marble Falls school district will pay roughly $8.2 million in recapture for the 2021-22 school year. 

The debt services budget, which was adopted in June at roughly $10 million, will see an increase of about $246,000, leaving a $1.8 million surplus after expenditures. The surplus will be used toward 2024 bonds.