Board of Trustees approves billion dollar budget for 2010-11

August 25, 2010

Tax rate to support the budget is 1.7 cents lower than projected

The Northside ISD Board of Trustees Tuesday night approved the 2010-11 budget and also voted to increase the District's property tax rate to pay for new classrooms for NISD's growing enrollment.

In addition to funding the operations of over 100 schools and 13,000 employees, the $1.234 billion budget will fund the opening of five new schools and 494 new staff positions to accommodate an enrollment that is increasing by about 3,000 new students a year. The budget includes all funds: operating, capital, debt, Child Nutrition and special revenues.

Earlier this week, the District opened a new high school, middle school and three elementary schools. With a projected enrollment of 94,369 students, Northside ISD is the fourth largest district in Texas and the 31st largest district in the nation.

Trustee Randy Fields commented that the adoption is the culmination of a process that started six months ago. "Seeing the financial times that we live in today and the restraints we're held to by the state, this is a well thought out budget that meets the needs of students and is cognizant of the property taxpayers as well," Fields said. The increase in the budget addresses the growth in the District.

The District's tax rate will increase 2.8 cents from $1.3375 to $1.3655 per $100 of home value. The entire portion of the tax increase will be used to pay for voter-approved bonds that are funding new schools and renovation and expansion projects throughout the District.

However, the tax rate still is 1.7 cents lower than what was projected when voters passed School Bond 2007.

"The average home value has decreased and has affected revenues from property taxes, but we have several aggressive debt management strategies in place that have helped us keep the tax rate lower than estimated," Superintendent John Folks said.

With the tax increase, school property taxes for the owner of a $150,000 house (assuming average value decrease and a $15,000 homestead exemption) would increase $36.15 for the year.