Board to adopt tax rate

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees will consider approving the tax rate for 2021-22 at its meeting set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The proposed total tax rate is $1.17792 per $100 valuation with $1.05170 maintenance and operations and $.12622 per $100 valuation for debt service.

The total rate is the same as last year, Chief Financial Officer Deborah Ottmers said.

Last year’s maintenance and operations was $1.05470 and $.12322 interest and sinking.

“We wanted to keep the total tax rate the same. The state is requiring that we reduce the m&o and so we wanted to keep the tax rate the same so we are increasing it that slight amount that will allow us to repay the bonds. That saves us quite a bit of future interest that helps in managing the tax and the debt service as we’re trying to go out for a bond,” Ottmers said.

“Technically for m&o, it’s actually a little bit less because the values have gone down. It actually brings a little bit less on the m&o (and) a little bit more on the debt service. We’re paying off $5.690 million (on bonds). That saves us almost $2.5 million in future interest costs,” Ottmers said.

With estimated maintenance and operations tax collections estimated at $4 million less than last year, Ottmers said the state will pay the district more per student to make up for it.

The board approved the 2021-22 budget earlier in the summer. The budget year starts July 1. The board is required to approve three funds.

The general fund is $314,485,610; the school nutrition fund is $18,705,494; and the debt service fund is $19,250,666. $314 million.

A public hearing is also scheduled today on an application of 1PointFive P1 LLC for Appraised Value Limitation on Qualified Property, Pursuant to Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code.

Chapter 313 agreements were created by the 2001 Texas Legislature to allow communities to attract specifically defined companies/projects through limiting the school district’s maintenance and operations (daily operations) taxable valuation for 10 years. The agreement remains fully taxable for interest and sinking (debt service) tax purposes at all times, according to a previous board recap.

The agreements stipulate the school district cannot be financially worse off by entering into the agreement.

In other business, the board will discuss and consider:

>> Hiring a chief of schools and executive director of leadership and discuss the superintendent’s appraisal and contract.

>> Campus improvement plans for campuses throughout ECISD.

>> Delivery of remote instruction through the Texas Virtual School Network.

>> A request for approval of a memorandum of understanding between ECISD and Third Future Schools-Texas. Third Future Schools-Texas acts as the Operating Partner of Ector College Prep Success Academy under a performance agreement approved by the ECISD Board of Trustees on March 23, supplemental agenda material said.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties seeks to clarify and modify the previously-approved contract in the following ways: (1) to specify that ECISD, rather than Third Future Schools, will provide dyslexia intervention services to the campus and will be charged back to the partner; (2) to delete the district-provided “Bilingual Education” service and replace with “English as a Second Language” which will be charged back to the partner; and (3) to include the cost of copiers leased at the campus, the material said.