Trustees consider tax rate ordinance - Odessa American: ECISD

Trustees consider tax rate ordinance | Posted: Monday, September 14, 2020 3:17 pm

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees will discuss and consider approval of an ordinance to set the 2020-2021 tax rate during their meeting set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first floor board room of the administration building, 802 N. Sam Houston Ave.

The total proposed rate is $1.17 per $100 valuation. That is made up of $1.05470 for maintenance and operations and .12322 for debt service, supplemental agenda material says. Most homeowners will see an increase in taxes due to higher appraisal values.

Chief Financial Officer Deborah Ottmers said back in June, the budget and tax rate in newspaper.

The board approved the budget back in mid-June and the proposed tax rate is required to be part of that discussion.

“We can’t approve the tax rate (with the corresponding ordinance) until the property values are certified (which occurs in late July),” Ottmers said in an email. “Additionally, for districts that are wealthy and pay recapture, they can’t adopt the tax rate until TEA gives them permission to do so usually in late August.”

Ottmers said luckily ECISD is not one of those districts at this time.

She stated that the tax rate being requested is the same in total as for 2019.

The board also will consider an order to cash redeem $5,235,000 in Series 2013 Bonds prior to their scheduled maturity, saving taxpayers $3,206,438 in future interest costs, the material says.

Ottmers said the two bond items are:

>> Pre-paying in 2020-21 $5.235 million of outstanding bonds from the 2013 series, which are due in 2038, which she said would save approximately $3.2 million in future interest costs.

>> Refunding for a lower interest rate in 2020-2021 on $66 million of outstanding bonds from the 2013 series, due in 2026-2036 will save approximately $13.4 million in future interest costs, she stated.

Trustees also will consider a number of campus improvement plans, local policy updates provided by the Texas Association of School Boards and agreements.

ECISD and UT at Austin request approval to enter into a Cooperative Agreement to implement OnRamps, a distance college course through a dual-enrollment model. UT at Austin will provide training for high school teachers who work alongside the UT professors for implementation of select courses. This opportunity allows high school students to earn their high school credit from their district and the opportunity to earn college credits from the University of Texas at Austin through a distance education course.

ECISD is also requesting approval for the data sharing agreement between the district and UT at Austin. This agreement allows ECISD to provide individual student level data to the Office of Strategy and Policy at UT at Austin for the purpose of implementing, billing and evaluating the OnRamps dual enrollment program. Likewise, UT at Austin, in accordance with FERPA (federal privacy regulations), agrees to provide individual student-level data to ECISD for evaluation, accountability and student record keeping, supplemental material said.

A report from the Tax Ratification Election Committee also is on the agenda. Passed in 2018, the TRE financed new roofs, buses, safety measures and other items.

A discussion of the superintendent’s evaluation and contract and a district Safety & Security Audit Report are also up for consideration.