Plano ISD file photo

Plano ISD approved a proposed budget with a $38.9 million deficit and a lower ad valorem tax rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year as the district navigates ongoing inflationary challenges. 

The motion for approval was made in a Plano ISD Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday. 

The proposed budget accounts for $698 million in general fund revenue against $737 million in general fund expenditures. Of these expenses, an estimated 67% ($311 million) will be spent on instruction. 

Payroll expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year include a 4% pay increase for teachers, librarians and nurses, and a 3% pay increase for all other employees. Starting salaries for teachers with Bachelor's degrees and no prior education experience will be floored at $58,250, while those teachers with Master's degrees and no prior education experience will be at $60,250. Additional costs for employee recruitment and retention include a $1,000 retention/new employee stipend for teachers, a $500 retention/new employee stipend for all other employees and an increase in health insurance plan contributions to $315 per month. 

Plano ISD Chief Financial Officer Johnny Hill told trustees on Tuesday that despite inflation reaching roughly 8.5% nationwide, the district's proposed budget increased by 4% compared to last year, with recapture accounting for the majority of that increase. 

Recapture is a wealth equalization mechanism wherein “property-wealthy” school districts must send a portion of their tax revenues to the state to be given to less wealthy districts. Plano ISD's estimated recapture payment for the 2022-23 fiscal year is $226.9 million. 

Following discussion of recapture, Hill presented trustees with information on the district's proposed ad valorem tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year. While this year's district-wide property tax rate was $1.32075 per $100 valuation, next year's will be a lesser $1.27935 per $100 valuation. 

Still, with property values having increased over the past year, this could still potentially entail a tax increase for homeowners in the district. Under this tax rate, the average household would pay $5,237 in property taxes compared to last year's $5,037, a nearly 4% increase. 

These projections and the proposed 2022-23 budget are subject to change pending the certification of Plano ISD's tax roll. Per state law, the Collin Central Appraisal District has until July 25 to certify the values of 95% of its subject properties, a process which profoundly impacts the revenue school districts accrue in a given year. 

Garrett Gravley is the reporter for the Plano Star Courier, Allen American, Little Elm Journal and The Colony Courier-Leader. Email him at ggravley@starlocalmedia.com with story suggestions.

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