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Anyone notice that the Plano ISD suddenly comes to the conclusion that taxes will increase a week AFTER the bond election?
I don't doubt the bonds were needed. I don't doubt that PISD is cash strapped. However, I get real angry when officials, whose salaries are paid by the taxpayers, feed those same taxpayers spin.
I want all elected officials to hear us. Damn it! Tell us the truth, and tell us in a timely manner. Or forget about getting re-elected.
Plano ISD expects to raise tax rate, run a deficit
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
By STELLA M. CHÁVEZ / The Dallas Morning News
Plano school officials said this week that they expect to raise taxes again and that they'll have to use reserve funds to balance the budget for the second year in a row.
School officials said they project a $14.6 million deficit unless they cut something from the $492 million now planned for the 2008-09 school year. Last year, school trustees approved a $485 million budget and had a $14.7 million deficit, which was also covered by reserve funds.
The budget includes a 3 percent pay hike for teachers, librarians and nurses. Administrators would get a 2.5 percent salary increase. Both groups got a raise last year.
District officials say that this year's increase will cost about $9 million but that it's worth it to retain good teachers who are being courted by other districts.
"We try to keep them moving forward. There aren't too many districts that freeze salaries," said Richard Matkin, associate superintendent for business services.
"It's a very competitive market out there."
School officials also blame changes in state funding formulas and rising fuel costs for much of the spending strain.
The board is scheduled to vote on the budget June 17. A public hearing is scheduled the same day for residents to give trustees their views.
Under the plan, the district is planning to raise its total tax rate by 3.5 cents. The tax rate would go from $1.2684 per $100 of assessed property value to $1.3034 per $100 of assessed property value. Under that proposal, the homeowner of a $262,500 home – the district's market average based on preliminary tax rolls – would pay $3,421 in taxes, up from $3,330.
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