Published July 31, 2014
By Sydney Walter, The Belton Journal
Proposed Belton ISD tax rates will decrease by one cent from last year, from a $1.45 tax rate to a $1.44 tax rate, pending a public meeting on August 18 to discuss the school’s district budget that determines the rate.
Though the district continues to experience growth in both enrollment and attendance, it has been able to lower its tax rates since the adopting of the 2012 bond proposal. Belton Superintendent, Dr. Susan Kincannon, emphasized the rarity of school district tax decreases to the board members present.
“Tax increases were supposed to come with the bond, and while they did initially, we have been able to counter this rise and actually negate the addition altogether,” Kincannon said.
Belton ISD Public Relations Director Kyle DeBeer continued the sentiment.
“The district has been able to do this by being fiducially responsible and seriously looking where to invest,” he said. “My biggest take away from this is that even with the fast growth of the school, the district is consistently lowering rates. Growth has been a double-edged sword for the district. With an addition of around 400 students each year, we have more facility needs, but we also receive more state funding with increased attendance.”
Additionally, input from the community has been markedly positive. Though the state funding gained through attendance goes toward the classroom and not facilities, Belton residents continue to support the district, in part because of its demonstrated fiscal accountability.
“Everyone appreciates the decrease,” said Eric Banfield, Executive Director of Finance for Belton ISD. “We look forward to public participation at the meeting in a few weeks.”
The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Board Room at the Belton ISD Administration Building.