The Denison Independent School district will be holding a public hearing on Aug. 20 to discuss the tax rate for the next year. The proposed tax rate is is $1.3976, which includes a maintenance and operations tax rate of $1.0684 and a debt service tax rate of $.3292.
The first draft of the budget shows the district revenues at $59,194,500 in total. It breaks down to $29,125,500 from local sources with the remainder coming from state and local revenue.
The total expenditures the district is looking at comes out to $58,602,656, and $27,930,399 of that is allocated to instruction.
“We have been consistent in our tax rate for several years,” Denison ISD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Randy Reid said “This will be the first real decline in several years. The levy is still going to go up. The levy is going up even though the rate is going down because we had a lot of new value. We have some of our old value come up a little bit, but where it’s really come up is the new value. We had over $83 million in new value this year. That is a record we haven’t seen ever. That is keeping our tax levy up a little bit from last year.”
Reid also talked about state funding saying it mostly is determined by attendance. He also said employee compensation is about 80 percent of the budget.
“Our number one goal is to take care of our teachers,” DISD Superintendent Henry Scott said. “Of course the state when they passed House Bill 3, they dictated how much money would have to be allocated to teacher pay raises.”
Scott said the district had enough money to provide an $1,800 increase in pay across the board, and the overall increase for teacher pay raises was 6.6 percent. Administrators received a 4 percent increase, and hourly employees starting wages increased as well.
“I think it is a great opportunity to reward our teachers,” Scott said. “There is a lot of rumors flying around. Dan Patrick said early in the session every teacher was going to get a $5,000 raise. Well, they didn’t come across with the money. In our case if we did what they asked us to do every teacher would have gotten an $1,800 raise. But our raises go anywhere from $2,700 to $3,700 for teachers.”
What do you think of the Denison ISD’s budget and tax rate? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know. He can be reached via email at RTodd@HeraldDemocrat.com as well as Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.