NISD balances budget, decreases tax rate

Published 9:39 am Thursday, August 18, 2011

NEDERLAND — After almost $1 million budget cuts from the state, Nederland ISD was able to present a balanced budget to the school board this week including a decrease in the local tax rate.

The balancing of the budget was mostly thanks to an increase in Nederland property values and a successful early-exit program administered in the spring of 2011, which encouraging teachers to retire early.

“Not only are we proposing a balanced budget but a decrease in tax rates,” said Nederland ISD superintendent Robert Madding.

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The district saw a 5.97 percent increase in property values over the last year.

Mindful of a predicted budget shortfall for next year’s budget, Melissa Wong, NISD business manager, saw the opportunity to lower the tax rate as investment in future property values.

“Our values did come up this year, but what if next year they don’t?” she asked.

The tax lower tax rate is meant to entice industry and new residents to move into the district, in hopes of a continued increase in local tax revenue, by far the largest source of revenue for the district.  

The 2010-2011 tax rate was $1.11 per $100 valuation. The tax rate, adopted by the NISD school board Tuesday, is $1.10  per $100 dollar valuation for 2011-2012.

For an owner of a $100,000 house in Nederland taxes will cost $1,100 in 2011-2012, before any applicable exemptions.

Total payroll expenditures, the largest expenditure in the budget, went down almost $200,000. A major contributor to the decrease in payroll spending was the 17 district employees who took advantage of the early exit benefits.

Also, the district has lowered the minimum salary of a teacher by $258.

The total district revenue and expenditures is $35,543,027, which includes a decrease of $128,000 from last year in total expenditures.

Also, the proposed budget should leave the district with a fund balance of $8,500,085.