The Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees adopted a reduced tax rate of $1.32 during its board meeting Sept. 18.
The rate of $1.32 per $100 valuation marks the first change to the overall tax rate in seven years, and accounts for a maintenance and operations rate of $1.06 and $0.26 for debt service. Although the board formally adopted the tax that Monday, FBISD’s previously-adopted 2017-18 budget was based on the lower overall tax rate, a reduction made possible by growth in property values and the district’s strong debt management program.
“Fort Bend ISD is proud of its active debt management practices, which allowed us to give our constituents tax relief,” said Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees President Kristin Tassin.
“This action demonstrates our continuing commitment to our taxpayers, who are partners in our efforts to inspire and equip all students to pursue a future beyond what they can imagine.
Prior to Monday, Fort Bend ISD’s tax rate had remained at $1.34 since the 2010-11 school year, consisting of a $1.04 maintenance and operations tax rate and a $0.30 debt service tax rate. Even with the reduction approved Monday, Fort Bend ISD Chief Financial Officer Steve Bassett acknowledged that due to rising property values, some taxpayers will continue to pay more in taxes.
“The two penny drop in the tax rate is a reduction of 1.5 percent,” said Bassett. “Homeowners with property growth higher than 1.5 percent will pay more than last year. However, the district is doing what it can to lower the rate even while we are in the middle of a bond program to address the rapid growth of the district. We are committed to not increasing the tax rate for the duration of the bond program.”
At $1.32, Fort Bend ISD’s tax rate continues to be one of the lowest among its surrounding districts. Additionally, Fort Bend ISD continues to receive state recognition for its strong fiscal management. For the sixth consecutive year, Fort Bend ISD has received a Five Star Rating from TX Smart Schools, a state organization that analyzes how well Texas school districts spend resources compared to student achievement.
For the 2016-17 school year, Fort Bend ISD has earned a Superior, or A, rating in the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). It is the 15th consecutive Superior rating for FBISD.