The Denison Independent School District finalized its budget for the upcoming fiscal year this week when it approved a property tax rate and a $62.27 million budget.
For this upcoming year, the district is anticipating running a deficit budget, with about $1.57 million in expenses over revenues. However, district officials said this is planned and well within the district’s capacity to weather.
"We look at a worst case scenario with our expenditure and revenue side. Typically we do end the year with positive revenue," DISD Assistant Superintendent Randy Reid said.
For this upcoming fiscal year, Reid said the district has approved a property tax rate of $1.3223 per $100 of assessed value. This is down by $0.07525 when compared to last year’s rate, Reid said.
"Because of House Bill 3, we had to get a maximum compressed tax rate from the TEA (Texas Education Agency), and they provided that. Once we had that tax rate we could set our general fund tax rate," he said.
Despite issuing more than $20.8 million in bonds this year, Reid said the district’s debt service rate remained steady at $).3292 per $100 of assessed value. Reid attributed this to a new property being added to the tax roll, along with favorable refinancing of some of the district’s debts.
Reid said it is possible that residents could see an increase in their taxes because of increasing property values, but said the majority of the increase is due to new property.
"Our collections are going up, but that is mainly from new construction and that provided most of the increase we received," he said.
Reid said this year’s budget includes several items related to the district’s response to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment, disinfectants and technology.
Reid said the district has invested heavily in mobile hot spots and devices that will allow students to get online from home if distances learning is put back in place.
"We will use these if we are distance learning or not in a different capacity," he said. "We hope to continue our classes in person, but if we did have to go virtual only we would have enough devices for our students."
Reid said the district is expected to see some savings on these items through CARES Act funds, and TEA grants.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at email@example.com.