Alba-Golden ISD property owners to see savings

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Alba-Golden ISD school board members voted unanimously to lower the district’s tax rate from last year’s rate Monday night. The tax rate for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year was set at $1.1276 which is lower than last year’s rate of $1.23.

The full board of trustees, including Jason Stovall, Johnny Teel, Jackie Staley, Joe Carr, Mike Ragsdale, Chad Daily and Dwayne Thompson, were in attendance for the vote.

The budget for the upcoming year was approved at $9,856,000 with $5,733,269, representing 58 per cent of the budget, going to instruction and instruction related services. This includes a pay raise for every employee in the district. Plant maintenance and operations for the budget came in at $1,247,658 or 13 percent of the budget. Last year’s budget was $8,410,00.

According to Business Manager Brenda Kelley the tax rate was able to be lower and money for the pay raises were brought about by House Bill 3. “That’s part of the new house bill,” Kelley noted. “We had to lower it (the tax rate) because of House Bill 3. We are at the maximum compressed rate according to the state. They provided more state aid.”

Superintendent Dwayne Ellis was happy about being able to give employees a raise. “The district was able to give all employees of the district a pay raise. I am really happy we were able to give each employee of the Alba-Golden ISD a pay raise this year. We have a great staff. Giving those raises would be the highlight of this year’s budget,” Ellis said. “We were able to give every employee, not just teachers, a pay raise.”

Kelley said the pay raises amounted to almost $1,000,000.

Texas House Bill 3, is an $11.6 billion school finance measure which included $6.5 billion in new public education spending, plus an additional $5.1 billion devoted to lowering property tax bills in the state. The measure passed the Texas House by a vote of 139-0 and in the Texas Senate 30-0 earlier this year. The bill includes money for teacher raises, funds free full-day pre-K for eligible four-year-olds and reduced the amount of money wealthy districts must spend to subsidize poor districts through the “Robin Hood” program. It also included money for districts that want to start merit pay programs, giving bonuses of between $3,000 and $12,000 to their higher rated teachers and provides money for high needs and rural school districts that need help to give teachers incentives to stay there.

According to a May 29 article in the Texas Tribune, lawmakers estimated statewide the bill would lower tax rates by an average of eight cents per $100 valuation in 2020 and 13 cents in 2021. That would mean a tax cut of $200 for the owner of a $250,000 home in 2020 and $325 in 2021.

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