By Ashley Davenport
Taxpayers in the La Vernia Independent School District (ISD) will see a 14-percent decrease in their property-tax rate, following action by the district’s board of trustees.
During a special meeting and public hearing Aug. 27, district Director of Finance Laura Ramzinski presented the 2013-14 budget and tax rate.
Mary Bordner, a member of the public and former teacher in La Vernia, said she would prefer the district to maintain the same rate as last year. However, Superintendent Tom Harvey advocated a decrease to the trustees.
After the public hearing, trustees Cody Miller, Kimi Kravitz, Susan Reinhard, Janette Chall, David Watson, Janice Gimbel, and James Barnett voted to approve the budget as proposed, along with the new tax rate.
La Vernia ISD’s new tax rate will be $1.39 per $100 of valuation, down from last year’s rate of $1.395. Of this amount, $1.04 is allocated to maintenance and operations; the remaining 35 cents will go toward debt service. The average taxable value of a residence in the 2013 tax year is $161,575. Therefore, the average tax bill will be $2,245.89, compared to $2,191.95 last year, a $53.94 increase.
The budget for the coming fiscal year was approved at $22,906,691, an increase of 9.91 percent from last year. Ramzinski said most of this can be attributed to salaries for new staff members.
The trustees also approved a bid for property repossessed due to delinquent taxes.
The agenda also included requests from Ronald and Rachel Mitchell and Joseph Overton, regarding late fees associated with their 2012 school taxes. No motion was offered regarding either request; no board action was taken.
Other items approved during the meeting included an endorsement of Gilbert Flores as a Texas Association of School Boards director, a report regarding La Vernia ISD’s potential conversion to using natural gas, and a tuition agreement with Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children.