Marlin: Tax restructuring vote could mean more money for schools

MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) If voters approve a proposal to restructure the Marlin ISD’s tax rates, the district would receive almost $500,000 more a year from the state at no additional cost to local taxpayers.

(Photo by Nestor Montoya)

"If our maintenance operations tax rate goes up we get more money from the state,” Marlin ISD Superintendent Michael Seabolt said.

Texas school districts have two separate tax rates that are combined to compute local tax bills.

One rate is for maintenance and operations, which includes such things as teacher salaries and the other goes to retiring bond issue debt.

The Marlin ISD current sets the maintenance and operation rate at $1.04 per $100 valuation and the debt retirement rate at 0.115 for a total rate of 1.155.

The district is proposing to shift the entire debt retirement rate to maintenance and operations, which would still mean a total tax rate of $1.155 per $100 .

The higher maintenance and operation rate, however, would mean an additional $480,000 a year from the state for which Marlin as a low-income district. would then be eligible, Seabolt said.

The Marlin ISD now has about $500,000 in outstanding debt, which would be retired from the maintenance and operations account, and then after two years the full additional state payment would go to maintenance and operations.

Additionally, district officials are looking at administrative restructuring that could save several hundred additional dollars a year, Seabolt said.

Marlin ISD recently raised salaries to attract quality teachers to coming to the district.

Marlin Mayor Elizabeth Nelson supports the measure and is calling on residents to vote in favor of the restructuring.

Early voting ends Tuesday and as of Monday, only 69 votes had been cast.

The polls are open from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.