Rio Vista ISD trustees are asking residents for a 13-cent property tax increase for the district’s maintenance and operations budget to ensure sufficient funding to provide quality teachers and facilities for students.
If the Tax Ratification Election passes, the total tax would be $1.49 per $100 of property valuation. On a $100,000 home, under the proposed rate, the tax would total an additional $115 per year, or $9.65 a month.
RVISD Superintendent Tim Wright said that the district has maintained the same M&O tax rate — $1.04 — since 2007.
“The district has lived on that tax rate, no matter how much the oil, gas and everything else has gone up,” he said. “This is why we, and many other districts, have been struggling. At the proposed rate of $1.17, it is still 28 cents lower than it was in 2005 at $1.45.”
House Bill 1, passed in 2006 as property-tax-relief legislation, reduced property tax rates. That year, RVISD tax collections went from $1.45 to $1.32, then to $1.04 in 2007. The district is capped at $1.17 without a change in state law, Wright added.
“We have to pay our teachers and do other things with the daily operations,” he said. “Eighty percent of M&O goes to salary.”
Though the district previously underwent a reduction in force and lost several teachers through attrition, Wright said similar cuts are not planned for the immediate future.
However, teachers deserve a step pay increase, as do other district employees, he said. Health insurance costs have gone up, so the amount of money teachers and staff take home is continually less than in years before.
District employees who are not teachers, such as custodians and cafeteria workers, would receive a 3 percent pay increase, while principals and Wright would receive no pay increase.
“We’re not asking for a raise,” Wright said. “We’re asking the public to help our schools.”