As the Board of Trustees works through the 2012-2013 budget process, they will discuss whether or not the district should ask voters for an additional two cents on the 2012 tax rate. The public is invited to participate in the discussion of the possible adoption. The discussion is scheduled as a part of the Monday, July 16, Board Meeting in the library of the former Carroll Middle School, located 1101 East Dove Road.
If Trustees choose to adopt a Maintenance & Operation (M&O) tax rate greater than the current M&O rate of $1.04 per $100 of taxable valuation, they will need to call a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) to allow voters the decision to ratify the tax rate proposal prior to levying the 2012 property tax. If ordered, a TRE election would occur in mid-September of this year.
Trustees are scheduled to adopt the 2012-2013 budget at a Board meeting in August. With preliminary estimates of the 2012-2013 budget presenting a $3 million deficit, a two-cent TRE will generate an additional $1.1 million annually to help reduce the deficit created by the recent reduction in State funding. Cuts to public education by the legislature in its last session resulted in over $8 million in reduced funding to Carroll ISD over the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.
Trustees, administration, and staff have been working to balance the Carroll ISD operating budget as State funding levels per student have decreased in recent years. The Balance the Budget Plan, as the district refers to its ongoing budget process, generated multiple tiers of budget balancing options that the Board has taken action upon for several fiscal cycles.
Budget balancing options include both revenue production and expenditure reduction. The Administration has already cut central office departmental, athletic and professional development budgets by about $3 million. Calling a TRE to generate additional local revenue has been an option on the list since January of 2010. By law, the district can hold a TRE for up to 13 additional cents per $100 assessed valuation. Because of the way the finance formula works, however, only the first two cents would be protected from Robin Hood recapture. Any increase above those two cents would be subject to a Chapter 41 recapture rate at more than half of every dollar collected.
A survey open to parents, staff, and taxpayers indicated support for an additional two cents on the tax rate with the understanding that the property tax from these two cents would stay in Carroll ISD. With voter approval of a TRE, the M&O tax rate would increase to $1.06. The total tax rate to be adopted and levied also includes the Interest & Sinking (I&S) portion, currently $0.375 per $100 of taxable valuation.
While the regular agenda for Monday’s Board meeting begins at 5:30 p.m., the public meeting portion for the tax rate is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. or shortly after per the “Notice of Public Meeting to Discuss the Proposed 2012 Tax Rate.”