Taxation Explosion in Conroe Texas

Conroe ISD’s $677 Million Bond Package, Set For November 5 Referendum, Will Cost Higher Taxes Than Failed May 4 $807 Million Bond Package

Conroe Independent School District’s $677 Million Bond package, set for November 5, 2019, voter referendum, is an explosion of taxes even worse than the failed $807 Million Bond package, which voters rejected on May 4, 2019.

Conroe, August 29 – Conroe Independent School District’s (CISD) $677 Million Bond package, which the school district has set for a November 5, 2019, voter referendum, will cause taxpayers to suffer higher tax increases than the $807 Million Bond package, which voters rejected soundly in the May 4, 2019, election.

The huge difference, however, is that CISD allowed voters to vote on the tax increase portion of the $807 Million Bond, but the school district has already passed the enormous tax increase necessary to support the $677 Million Bond package and has no intention of permitting voters to vote on it. Instead, the school district is lying to voters with advertising – paid with tax dollars earmarked for education – announcing “No Tax Rate Increase If Approved By Voters on November 5.”

There’s no tax rate increase in the bond election, because CISD already implemented the tax rate increase without allowing voters to approve it!

Clearly, voters have a remedy. The citizens of CISD must (1) reject the $677 Million Bond on November 5, and (2) remove the liberal majority of CISD Board members in the November, 2020, General Election, and replace them with a Board which represents the interests of the children and the taxpayers.

When CISD tried to win the $807 million bond package in the May 4, 2019, election, CISD’s Chief Financial Officer Darren Rice provided a detailed chart projecting the Debt Service Tax Rate and property tax appraisal increases. The numbers in the chart above come directly from Rice’s numbers and projections, except that the TAX portion reflects only the TAX on the Debt Service part of CISD’s total tax rate. Readers should remember that CISD’s current total tax rate is $1.28 per $100 valuation, consisting of $0.22 per $100 valuation (or 22 cents per $100) in Debt Service and $1.06 per $100 valuation (or one dollar and six cents per $100) in Maintenance and Operations.

The only reason CISD’s total tax rate decreased for the Fiscal Year Ending in 2020 is because the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 3, which required all school districts to reduce their Maintenance and Operations portion of the tax rate by seven (7) cents. School districts aren’t losing any money at all, because the State of Texas is providing the funds to make up the difference during the next two years from a State “surplus.” Of course, where did the “surplus” come from? It came from you, the taxpayers!

Under the $807 million bond package, CISD had projected the tax rate would increase up to $0.27 per $100 valuation, but those increases didn’t occur all at once during Fiscal Year 2020. The tax and bond package, of course, also included increases in property tax appraisals through the CISD-controlled Board of Directors of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District. The Appraisal Increases shown in the chart come directly from the projections of CISD and CISD’s Rice.

Under the $677 million bond package, CISD isn’t allowing the voters to approve or disapprove the massive tax rate increase, as the school district already implemented that increase through its Fiscal Year 2020 Budget, which the Board just voted to approve.

The $677 million bond package also implements the full Debt Service Tax Rate increase immediately rather than over a period of three years. As a result, taxpayers will actually pay higher debt service taxes during the Fiscal Year ending August 31, 2020.

More significantly, over the three years ending August 31 from 2019 to 2021, CISD taxpayers will actually pay more in Debt Service taxes under the $677 million bond package than under the $807 million bond package.

Here are some of the explosive metrics about CISD’s $677 million bond package set for voter referendum on November 5:

  • CISD taxpayers will suffer a 31.7% increase in Debt Service taxes over just the next two years!
  • CISD taxpayers will suffer a 24.84% increase in Debt Service taxes in just one year!
  • CISD is lying to the voters that there is “no tax rate increase.”
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