Texas school districts in the 60-county path of Hurricane Harvey must submit tax collection projections for 2017 to find out how much it will impact education funding.
Why should North Texans care?
Less property tax dollars means less money in the Texas’ school funding pool.
Hurricane Harvey’s impact on school tax collections should interest all Texas taxpayers because districts rely on tax values to make their funding projections. Currently, districts affected by the hurricane are struggling with lost values while also experiencing increased needs, said Joe Smith, a former schools superintendent who created TexasISD.com education news website.
Smith said it will be up to lawmakers to figure out how to make up any gaps in school funding.
“That is why the state will collect this data,” Smith said, adding that Texas’ schools are funded from the same pool so all taxpayers have a stake.
The Texas Education Agency announced the survey to school administrators Tuesday. School districts in areas located in the 60 counties declared disaster areas by Gov. Greg Abbott have to submit current tax collection projections for tax year 2017 “to help determine impact on taxable property values from Hurricane Harvey during the 2017-2018 school year.”
Among the districts called to submit data are Corpus Christi, Houston and Fort Bend in Sugar Land. Districts have until Jan. 31, 2018 to report their projections. The information will be presented to lawmakers.
“School districts are paying attention to this because some of them could be cut short,” Smith said, adding that this data is being collected as many hurricane victims seek to have their properties reappraised.
“Their tax bills are going to be based on the value of property as of Jan. 1 2017,” Smith said of taxpayers in counties impacted by the hurricane. “That property may not even be there.”