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SMCISD board approves 22-23 budget, discusses tax rate
San Marcos Consolidated ISD will operate the 2022-23 school year with a deficit budget.
The SMCISD Board of Trustees approved the 22-23 budget with a deficit of nearly $14 million. The approved budget projects total revenues at $82,022,067 for 2022-23, while expenditures would total $95,951,872, placing SMCISD in a deficit of $13,929,805.
Despite the deficit budget, SMCISD projects that it will enter the upcoming school year with a fund balance of $49,622,014. With the projected deficit, $35,692,209 is projected to remain in the district’s fund balance after the 22-23 academic year.
The board also held a public hearing regarding the 2022-23 tax rate.
San Marcos CISD is proposing a tax rate identical to last year’s at $0.901600 for a maintenance and operation rate and a debt service rate of $0.269182 for a total proposed tax rate of $1.170782 per $100 valuation.
Mike Doyle, SMCISD Director of State and Federal Programs, said the tax rate would go down in August once the district receives certified tax rolls from Hays, Caldwell and Guadalupe counties.
Dan Lyon, who was the lone person to speak during the public hearing, asked the district to act in good faith and consider the taxpayers when the tax rate’s approval comes up.
“Valuations are up once again on homes. There have been a lot of rebates on taxes to some of these big corporations that have come into town, and of course, the home owners are the ones that have to make up the difference,” Lyon said. “I know y’all can lower the tax rate later but I would like to see some good faith in y’all understand that the people who own houses, people who pay rent, just normal people are under a tremendous burden and it’s not getting any easier … Money alone does not make for a good educated student, for good school districts.”
Trustee Anne Halsey asked multiple questions regarding corporate tax breaks, the district’s history of lowering the tax rate and how the district can lower the tax rate for the 2022-23 academic year at a later time.
Doyle stated that SMCISD hasn’t given any corporate tax breaks in recent years and also said the district’s tax rate has gone down over the past five years. Doyle added that the district can only propose a tax rate at this time because the district’s budget cycle begins prior to the certification of tax appraisals and values in August.
“We can only propose a tax rate right now, which will then build our budget,” Doyle said. “In August, we’ll have our certified values and we know that our values in Hays County and our [Central Appraisal Districts] have increased. But, as that rate increase, [the Texas Education Agency] will set our [maintenance and operation] rate. We don’t have much fluctuation in that M&O rate. As we move forward into August that M&O rate will most likely go down, will go down. But we can’t set a proposed tax rate now and have that tax rate. This tax rate being identical to this year’s current tax rate will be the maximum, if you will.”