Board Deliberates Tax-Hike Timing
The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees will ask voters for a property tax rate increase. The question is: When?
Board members have a non-binding deadline to meet this week. They are convening tonight to continue the discussion.
If they want to hold the tax ratification election this November, the board has to issue a public advertisement by Friday. But even if they do issue the advertisement, they don’t have to hold the election this fall.
The advertisement must specify how much the tax increase will be, but the board members do not legally have to stick to that amount.
In the most recent proposal, the owner of an average home in Austin would pay an extra $100 a year. The school board is looking to put this increase to the voters this November, next June or in November of 2013.
At that rate, the tax hike would bring in about $15 million for the district each year. And it could help pay for a 3 percent compensation increase for all employees, which AISD Board of Trustees President Mark Williams says is sorely needed – especially since class sizes are bigger and instructors’ demands are higher.
Williams says the board will probably decide next month about when to hold the tax rate election. Austin voters approved bond programs for AISD in 2004 and 2008.
Tonight’s public meeting starts at 7 p.m. at AISD headquarters.