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The ad valorem tax rate might be lowered for the seventh straight year in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District, the Board of Trustees learned during a special meeting and budget workshop on Tuesday, June 7. 

Administration reported that projections for the district’s maintenance and operation portion of the tax rate can drop by 1.74 cents for $100 property valuation for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The current M&O tax rate is $1.077 per $100 property valuation. Under this assessment, the board could approve an overall tax rate of $1.0596 per $100 valuation.

District officials project the interest and sinking portion of the overall tax rate will remain the same at 19.5 cents.

The board won’t approve the budget and tax rate until August.

The current rate is the second-lowest among area school districts, officials said.

A property owner’s tax bill is determined by the tax rate as well as the property value and usually falls under several taxing entities, including county, school district, and city when located within an incorporated municipality as well as special districts such as the Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District.

The lower tax rate is possible because of increased appraisals and will still allow the district to raise teacher salaries and possibly offer incentives to new teachers. In an effort to attract teachers in specialized areas, the district is considering a $2,500 stipend for instructors of visually impaired students and a $2,000 stipend for self-contained special education/behavior support teachers in the upcoming 2022-23 budget.

OTHER BUDGET WORKSHOP NEWS

The administration is recommending the board approve a 3 percent pay increase for all employees next year instead of the initial 2 percent discussed earlier this year. The district is also considering setting the minimum auxiliary pay grade start at $13 per hour and the minimum clerical pay grade start at $14 per hour. The eventual goal would be for both to reach $15 per hour during the 2023-24 school year.

As BCISD continues to grow, it’s also addressing student enrollment with additional staffing. 

Administration also recommended the board consider three new Burnet High School positions in the career and technical education fields:

  • one new agriculture science teacher
  • one new health science or audio-visual arts teacher
  • one new family consumer science teacher

And the district is looking at adding three high school special education instructional partners and one R.J. Richey Elementary special education inclusion instructional partner. 

Administration recommended adding one more school resource officer position as well.

The district plans to continue fully funding a number of employee benefits, including health, dental, vision, telehealth, life insurance, and partial match for retirement system contribution.

The board will take up the compensation and new position recommendations during its regular meeting June 20. The meetings are typically held at 6 p.m. in the BCISD Board Room, 208 E. Brier St. in Burnet. Check the district’s website for updates and more information. 

daniel@thepicayune.com