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School trustees approve budget, tax rate

The Iowa Park CISD Board of Trustees approved the official budget for the school year 2016-17 and formally adopted the tax rate during a special called meeting Monday evening.
The approvals followed scheduled public hearings for the proposed budget and tax rate, though no one was present to comment.
Chief Financial Officer Sharon Godwin led trustees through the budget’s figures, which include total anticipated revenues of $16,721,904, and expenses totalling $17,087,717, with a net income/loss of $365,813. “It (the income/loss) is a little bit less than what I presented to you earlier,” she said. “And that is just more fine-tuning on the budget.” The earlier deficit projection was around $374,000, Godwin noted.
While local revenue is projected to be $817,450 less than the previous school year, revenue will increase from both the state ($760,012) and federal ($36,000) sources.
In the “Budget Summary by Fund/Function-All Funds” Godwin noted total expenditures in the general fund to be $14,675,200, with a deficit of $294,603 ... “which, by the way, is much better than where we thought we were going to be,” said Godwin.
The largest expenditures budgeted in the general fund is $8,224,398 for instruction, and $1,761,445 for maintenance and operations.
Godwin further added that $420,000 will be transferred from the general fund to I&S for payment to the bond. “If we weren’t transferring that amount from the general fund, we would actually have a surplus budget.”
Trustees unanimously approved the 2016-17 budget.
IPCISD Tax Assessor/Collector Jonathan Clubb presented the proposed tax rate to the board, which shows a rate for Maintenance and Operation of $1.17 and Interest and Sinking of .16 cents, for a total of $1.33 per $100 valuation.
“Our effective rate this year, which you all remember ... we lost about $46-million in valuations ... so our effective tax rate is $1.45 this year, and our rollback tax rate was $1.44,” Club said. “It is very uncommon that you see an effective tax rate higher than a rollback tax rate. It is the first time I’ve actually seen that since I’ve been at the tax office.
“But, as Sharon told you in the proposed budget, you saw how the state income made up the difference in the loss of value. So kudos to you guys and a good job for keeping the tax rate the same.”
The board unanimously approved a resolution stating “...the property tax rate be decreased by the adoption of a tax rate of $1.33, which is a 1.09 percent decrease in the effective tax rate.”
Prior to voting on the current school year budget and tax rate, trustees voted to approve the Amended Budget for 2015-16.
School trustees also dealt with an interlocal agreement for the Texoma Education Center, approved Policy Update 106 that deals with video/audio monitoring in Special Education, and approved contracts with Vernon College for their nursing and welding programs at IPHS in 2016-17.
The interlocal agreement for Texoma Education Center in 2016-17 is between Iowa Park CISD, Electra ISD, and City View ISD. Holliday ISD opted out of the program starting this school year.
The Texoma Education Center Cooperative, located in Iowa Park, provides alternative education programs (AEPs) for students.
According to Superintendent Steve Moody, the basic change in the interlocal agreement is reflecting the three school districts involved with Holliday ISD no longer involved. Asked by trustee Steve Fairchild what it meant to Iowa Park CISD monitarily, Moody said “It ended up increasing our budget for AEP a little less than $20,000.”
Trustees approved the interlocal agreement, and Policy Update 106, and contracts with Vernon College for nursing and welding for 2016-17.
In the superintendent’s report, Moody said “This is better news than we’ve had in a number of years,” regarding a first week enrollment report for this school year showing a total of 1,841 students. “You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time Iowa Park school district had more than 1,800 students enrolled.”