- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
The special session, set for 7 a.m. at the administration building, includes setting a public hearing for a proposed rate of $1.455. That’s 3 cents higher than the current rate of $1.425 per $100 of appraised property value.
The increase is on the portion of the tax rate known as the Interest & Sinking fund, which pays for the district’s debt. PISD still has a balance in its I&S fund, which is helping to keep the tax rate down, Superintendent Paul Trull said. Without those funds available, the increase would be 7 cents.
As adopted in June, the district’s 2012-2013 budget has $31.91 million in expenditures but $31.02 million in revenue – a $898,811 shortfall. About $500,000 of that is in the operating budget, including $200,000 to offer a one-time payment of $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time workers.
“Given legislative cuts of $1.6 million for this biennium, our base budget was $300,000 short,” Trull said. “The district has attritioned personnel, cut budgets, and frozen salaries for the past two years. Since salaries are frozen again, the board felt it appropriate to approve a one-time payment to employees.”
Existing fund balances and money saved from the current fiscal year will help cover the budget shortfall, Trull said. PISD can’t raise the operations portion of its tax rate because Paris ISD already levies the maximum of $1.17 allowed for maintenance and operations – a cap it’s been bumping against for four years.
Schools haven’t seen an increase in spending from the state since 2006.
“With historically high taxes that produce low revenue, Paris has been described as a ‘poster child’ for what’s wrong with the current funding system in Texas,” Trull said. “It’s a system of haves and have-nots, but apparently the state will make no move to change this system unless mandated by the court.”
PISD is part of a lawsuit against the state over school finance. It’s expected to go to trial Oct. 22 in Austin, and Trull said he expects the current system to be declared unconstitutional.
Also on the agenda Thursday: