Houston ISD did it again. Taxpayers in the state’s largest school district can look forward to another tax increase, just on the heels of a separate tax hike set to phase in by 2017.
In 2012 voters approved a Houston ISD Board of Trustees recommendation of a $1.9 billion bond for the city’s aging high schools. This bond came with a 5-cent increase, but won’t be phased in until 2017, giving most voters a chance to forget what they voted for.
You may recall HISD asked for funds to renovate back in 2007, when they passed a bond for this same purpose. As of last year, those 2007 funds haven’t been depleted and those projects haven’t been completed.
Now, HISD school board passed a 3-cent tax on October 10 to make their budget balance. Sure, it’s a different tax-stream to pay for operations, not debt, but it all comes out of the same taxpayer wallets.
How long will it be before Houston taxpayers get tired of being nickel and dimed out of more money before demanding serious spending reform?
The district has a 46.5% instructional spending rate and more than $3.6 billion of debt.
A district unable to keep up with $3 million worth of cafeteria food shouldn’t keep reaching their hands into taxpayer cookie jars.
But then again, why would they stop when taxpayers never show up and vote to tell them otherwise?