Trustees Lower Comal ISD’s Tax Rate by Four Cents
Comal ISD’s Board of Trustees lowered the district’s tax rate by four cents on Tuesday, making it the lowest tax rate since 1990.
The new property tax rate is $1.2757. It goes into effect immediately. The previous rate was $1.32. Trustees voted to reduce the rate at their Sept. 29 meeting.
“This is the lowest rate in Comal ISD since 1990,” Board of Trustees President David Drastata said. “In addition, when you factor in the 20-percent homestead exemption that Comal ISD provides on top of the $25,000 homestead exemption granted by the state, residents of Comal ISD pay an effective tax rate of approximately $1.02. No other district in our area provides that type of benefit to its residents.”
In 2019, Comal decreased its tax rate from $1.39 to $1.32. In 2014 the tax rate was lowered from $1.43 to $1.39.
However, District Superintendent Andrew Kim warned that continued rapid growth will present financial challenges in the years ahead.
“While the lowered tax rate is a good thing overall in terms of providing taxpayer relief, the funding from the state falls short in making up the difference in lost revenue, particularly in fast-growth districts like Comal ISD,” he said. “While we will continue to find ways to reduce costs and be conservative with our budget, we will need to explore new ways to generate additional revenue.”
Five-year projections show enrollment growth of around four percent, he said. The district will need to build new schools and hire more teachers and staff.
The new tax rate for maintenance and operations is $0.9257. This funds day-to-day district operations. The debt-service portion is $0.35. It pays off bonded debt.
“Besides the fact that our maintenance-and-operations tax rate continues to shrink, I think it is also important to note that even though voters approved bond packages in 2015 and 2017 of $147 million and $263 million respectively, our debt-service tax rate has not increased at all in the past six years since we lowered it from $0.39 to $0.35 in 2014,” Drastata said.