Homeowners will see some relief in their property taxes this year as school districts across the state will be lowering their maintenance and operations tax rates following the passage of House Bill 3 by the State Legislature earlier this year.

Passed by the 86th Legislature and signed into law by Gregg Abbott in June, House Bill 3 overhauls education financing and provides property tax relief through school district M&O tax rate compression in 2020 and 2021.

A school district’s combined tax rate is comprised of separate rates for maintenance and operation (M&O), which is utilized in salaries, utility bills and general operations, and interest and sinking (I&S), which is for repayment of debt.

Prior to school boards taking action to set the upcoming year’s tax rate, a public hearing must be held to allow for public comment either for or against the proposed rate.

Santa Gertrudis ISD will hold its public hearing on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. to discuss a tax rate of $1.2948 per $100 valuation for 2019-20, a seven-cent decrease from last year’s rate of $1.3648. The proposed M&O rate will drop from $1.04 to $0.97, while the I&S remains the same at $0.3248.

Bishop Consolidated ISD’s tax rate public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 6:15 p.m. for a proposed tax rate of $1.3692, with $0.9692 for M&O and $0.40 for I&S. The proposed rate is a nearly 14-cent decrease from the 2018-19 rate of $1.50424, with drops in last year’s M&O ($1.03924) and I&S ($0.465) rates.

Both Riviera and Ricardo ISD’s will hold tax rate public hearings on Aug. 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. as they propose decreasing their respective M&O rates from $1.17 to $1.0684 for 2019-20. Neither district has outstanding bond payments and do not tax property owners for I&S.

Driscoll ISD has set their public hearing for Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. for their 2019-20 proposed tax rate of $1.42683, a nearly 18-cent decrease from the 2018-19 rate of $1.609463. The district’s proposed M&O rate will be $0.97, down from last year’s $1.06, and the I&S is proposed at $0.45683, a nearly nine-cent drop from last year’s rate of $0.549463.

As of press time, Kingsville ISD has not set a public hearing date for its 2019-20 tax rate. KISD CFO Peter Pitts said setting the public hearing date will be on the school board’s agenda for their next regular meeting scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m.

KISD’s tax rate for 2018-19 was $1.5189 per $100 valuation, with the M&O rate at $1.17 and the I&S rate at $0.3489. Per HB3, the M&O rate must drop to at least $1.0684 for 2019-20.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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