The San Antonio Express-NewsÂ reports that numerous school districts in San Antonio and around the state are preparing to ask their voters to approve tax rate increases.Â One such district is San Antonio ISD which is on the verge of seeking a tax rate increase even though its superintendent admits itÂ "has been running inefficiently, with one-third of its available facility space going unused."Â
Other districts are also chomping at the bit..for a bigger piece of your home.Â Â Dawn-Fisher of the Texas EducationÂ Agency said, "I think that it is not unrealistic to expect that a large number of districts will be at $1.17 by the time the Legislature comes back to town in 2009.Â It's purely anecdotal, but we sure are hearing a lot of districts talk about that."
Remember, school property tax rates were bought down by the state to $1.04 byÂ using part of the surplus and new business taxÂ If these rates increase, the little tax savings some Texans are seeing now would evaporate completely.Â For example, the article notes the impact on Southside ISD homeowners of going up to $1.17 would be a $3 net annual property tax cut.Â Which of our state lawmakers wants to campaign on that pittance of a property tax cut that pales in comparison to the burden of the new business tax?
While it is true that voters will have to approve going over the $1.04 cap, the articles notes 13 of the recent 14 such elections have passed.Â School districts often use public funds for purportedly informational campaigns that are in fact advocacy efforts.Â Now is the time for taxpayers to be vigilant or else watch any tax cut they are enjoying disappear into thin air.