Public school taxes involve two figures, which divide the school district budget into two “buckets.”
The first bucket is the Maintenance and Operations tax (M&O), which funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures, such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food and utilities.
Approximately 84% of the District’s M&O budget goes to teacher and staff salaries. The second bucket is the Interest and Sinking Fund (I&S), also known as Debt Service, that is used to repay debt for capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections.
Proceeds from a bond issue can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of land, and the purchase of capital items such as equipment, technology and transportation. By law, I&S funds cannot be used to pay M&O expenses, which means that voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase teacher salaries or pay rising costs for utilities and services.
Midway ISD maintained a total tax rate of $1.32 per $100 of property valuation from 2008 to August 2019. This combined the M&O rate of $1.04 and the I&S rate of $0.28.
The M&O portion of the tax rate decreased seven cents in August 2019 as a result of House Bill 3 (HB3) that was passed by the state legislature earlier this summer. This dropped the M&O rate from $1.04 to $0.97.
On August 14, the Midway ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to call the 2019 bond election and discussed dropping the I&S (debt service) portion of the tax rate from $0.28 to $0.27 in 2020, if the 2019 bond election is approved by voters. Combining the Board’s action with the HB3 tax relief, the Midway ISD overall tax rate would decrease eight cents compared to the 2018-19 rate, dropping the total rate to $1.24 per $100 of property valuation.
According to state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older cannot be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65 — regardless of changes in tax rate or property value — unless significant improvements are made to the home.
Homeowners age 65 and older can apply for a homestead exemption with the McLennan County Appraisal District.
For more information on the over-65 exemption, visit the McLennan County Appraisal District website.
If the amount of taxes owed are less than the amount owed when frozen, homeowners 65 and older would pay the lesser amount. Under the law, the taxes can go down but cannot go above the tax ceiling.
Midway ISD has one of the lowest tax rates, compared to other school districts in McLennan County.