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Grapeland ISD Lowers Tax Rate

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Adopts 2020-2021 Budget

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – Taxpayers in the Grapeland Independent School District received a bit of good news on Monday evening, Aug. 31 as the GISD Board of Trustees approved lowering the tax rate from the previous year.

In the 2019-2020 school year, the tax rate was $1.2036 per $100 of property valuation, made up of $0.97 in maintenance and operations (M&O) taxes and $0.2336 in interest and sinking (I&S) taxes. For the 2020-2021 school year, GISD Superintendent Don Jackson proposed a tax rate of $1.1143 per $100 of property valuation, comprised of $0.9029 M&O and $0.2114 I&S. 

The 2019 average taxable value of a residence homestead within the boundaries of Grapeland ISD was approximately $58,092 while the 2020 average taxable value is approximately $67,366.

For the last several years, the state has mandated property taxes should be kept artificially low. Beginning last year, however, the state gave marching orders to the various appraisal districts throughout Texas to increase the appraised value of property.

Based on the 2019 taxable value of $58,092, last year, Grapeland homeowners paid an average school tax of $699.20. Using the 2020 taxable value of $67,366 along with the proposed tax rate, the average homeowner will pay a school tax of $750.65.

Both the 2020-2021 budget and 2020-2021 tax rate were unanimously adopted by the GISD Board of Trustees.

Prior to the budget and tax rate discussions, GISD Business Manager Julie Martin gave a presentation on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) grant.

“We were awarded $140,864 in district entitlement for the ESSER grant. Basically, what the grant covers is the COVID-19 money that the TEA (Texas Education Agency) is lowering from our foundation entitlement and giving it to us through this,” Martin said.

The business manager explained a budget had to be created which outlined expenditures for the money and informed the board many of the expenditures came from the 2019-2020 school year, such as paper goods and computers.

“We have procured 50 more Chrome Books, on top of all those we have ordered so we can replace any of the older Chrome Books we have. We also ordered 50 of the ‘My-Fi’ hotspots. That is all paid in full,” Martin said.    

In other matters brought before the GISD Board of Trustees:

  • Budget amendments to the 2019-2020 budget were approved.
  • The amended 2019-2020 budget was approved.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.  

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