WOISD tax rate dropping 11-cents

White Oak trustees wrapped up their annual financial planning Thursday with the adoption of a decreased tax rate and a balanced budget for the coming year, and they finished with plenty of time to spare before the junior varsity football game against the Harmony Eagles.
After requisite public notice and a public hearing that drew no speakers, the board members unanimously approved the rate recommended by White Oak’s superintendent, approximately $1.18 per $100 valuation.
“That’s about 11 cents less than what we had last year and about eight cents less than what the template says we need to raise the same amount of funding,” Dr. William Paul said, noting increased state funding helps cover the difference between what the district needs and what it will collect from taxpayers.
Supporting a balanced $16.4 million budget, the tax rate approved by trustees Aug. 31 includes 0.769800 per $100 valuation in Maintenance & Operations plus 0.416345 for Interest & Sinking for a combined total of $1.186145.
“We’re actually taxing at a much lower rate on the M&O side and much higher on the I&S because we have to pay more on our debt this year.”
While FY24’s tax rate is 8.9 percent less than FY23, Paul confirmed recent local increases in appraised values mean taxpayers won’t necessarily be contributing less.
“People are going to say, ‘You know, my taxes are still going up.’ They probably are. Values are going up,” Paul acknowledged. That said, “Our tax rate is still going down. I’m pleased with that.
Meanwhile, “Austin still thinks that White Oak’s undervalued. That’s wild to me.”
The FY 2024 budget is effectively balanced on the Maintenance & Operations side, covering all the district’s regular operations plus a 3 percent cost of living increase for personnel.
“It’s showing we’re going to have $22,000 extra at the end of the year, but we’re not going to be short any,” Paul added. “It’s a balanced budget. A lot of hard work went into that,” he added, praising newly-minted White Oak Business Manager Laura Field: “She did a great job.”
On the Interest & Seeking side, “It’s going to generate enough money to pay off the bond payment of $1.8 million for the year.”
In other business Thursday, the trustees unanimously signed off on five budget amendments to re-balance areas of the current FY23 budget.
“At the end of the year, you always want to wind up with all your functions in a positive balance,” Paul noted. “Amendments are moving money from one function to another. This is normal for this time of year where we just move the money to make sure all our functions are in the black, so to speak.”

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