KATY – Voters living in the area of Katy Independent School District will soon vote on a tax rate election (TRE.) It would keep the rate the same and the school district says the extra money they gain would help some staffing shortages.
But, Texas Senator Paul Bettencourt is opposed to the TRE and says keeping the rate the same would increase property taxes.
School leaders with Katy ISD are calling on voters to approve it.
Leslie Haack is the Deputy Superintendent for Katy ISD.
“If this TRE is approved in November, it would continue to help Katy ISD provide the world-class education that it does for its students. It would specifically provide a 4% pay raises for all teachers and staff and hire an additional 10 police officers,” Haack said.
Haack says if the TRE passes, Katy ISD would generate about $23,000,000.
The current tax rate in Katy is $1.35, and it would stay the same.
The property taxes for homeowners would also increase.
“If it passes, and let’s say $350,000 median home price property owners may see an additional $12 to$15-$16 per month increase or an increase of about $150 if we were to sustain the current school tax rate,” Haack said.
Bettencourt is firing back and says if the TRE passes it would “wipe out” the property tax relief state legislators have already paid for. He calls TRE a stunt.
“They are trying to say last year’s tax rate is not an increase, and it is a huge increase. We did this on purpose as values went up, to get people [to] help bring down that tax rate and we’ve done it for all thousand plus school districts in the state. There’s only a handful who are going back to voters saying, ‘Oh well, let’s increase it, and let’s go back to last year’s tax rate ‘but they haven’t told you that it’s a huge tax increase and permanent literally for as long as you own the home in the district,” Bettencourt said.
Early voting will end on Nov. 4 and Election Day is Nov. 8.
To read more Katy ISD’s Tax Rate Election, click here.
You can check on your property tax bills and the property tax rate by clicking here.