Higher home values mean more money to AISD

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo ISD is not increasing its tax rate this year, but you could still be paying more money to the school district.

Monday evening the school district proposed a tax rate of 1.189 percent, the exact same rate as last year.

As property values go up across the city, most people in Amarillo can expect their property tax payments to go up as well.

AISD has not proposed a budget for the upcoming school year, pending funding decisions from the state legislature, but they do expect it to increase to accommodate at 2.2 percent raise for all district staff.

"Staff raises are the driving force, because we are competing against the metroplex districts at West Texas A&M, Texas A&M and Texas Tech," said Pati Buchenau, CFO for AISD. "So, we always want to try to raise our beginning level teacher [salaries] so that [we're] competitive, at least keeping up with the metroplex districts."

But the district has proposed not to increase its property tax rate of 1.189 percent.

That doesn't mean your property taxes will stay the same.

The Potter-Randall Appraisal District said houses in almost every neighborhood in Amarillo have gone up in value this year.

"In Randall county they've gone up probably about 5.5 percent, and Potter County is going to be a little less than that," said Jeffrey Dagley, PRAD's Chief Appraiser. "A lot of that is new construction, too; new homes that have been built and are included in that."

The higher your appraisal value, the more property tax you'll pay to the school district compared to last year, regardless if the school's tax rate stays the same.

And if the state legislature cuts school funding...

"We will immediately start talking about having a tax ratification election, which will increase our M&O if it passes," said Buchenau. "But it will be needed in order to balance our budget."

The AISD school board will have a budget proposed by June, regardless of what happens in the state legislature.

A public hearing for and adoption of the proposed budget and tax rate will be held June 19.

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