Corsicana school officials may take the opportunity to add 4 cents to the new, lower tax rate, but if they do, it will leave the district vulnerable to a tax rollback election.

This past spring, the Texas Legislature agreed to pick up more of the costs of public education, but required local school districts, including Corsicana, to lower their property tax rates. Corsicana’s 2005-06 tax rate was $1.41 per $100 of appraised value. The new rate, according to the state calculations, drop it to $1.25 per $100.

However, the legislature also allowed districts to add onto the new rate, up to 4 cents. If Corsicana approves the additional 4 cents, the district will collect an extra $700,000 in state funding.

“I’d say every district in the state of Texas is going to do that,” said Superintendent Don Denbow at the school board’s regular meeting Thursday. The board got their first look the preliminary budget Thursday, including the option of the 4 cent add-on.

“We’d be criticized as reckless if we don’t do it,” said Kent Rogers, board member.

For a $100,000 house, with a $15,000 homestead exception, the current school tax bill of $1,198 would fall to $1,096 even with the additional 4 cents in the tax rate.

However, if the district chooses to add the 4 cents, it will also open the door to a tax rollback. Under a rollback, voters can petition for an election to roll the tax rate to an even lower rate.

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Janet Jacobs may be contacted via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com

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