For the first time, San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District is considered property wealthy under the state’s school finance system.
With taxable property values of about $3.14 billion for the fiscal year that started Sept 1 — about $342,000 per student — the district meets the threshold for classification as a Chapter 41 district, currently set at $319,500, said Mike Abild, the assistant superintendent for finance and support services.
“When you have a fairly vibrant economy and a relatively small number of students, it’s fairly easy to find yourself” as state-designated property-wealthy district, Abild said.
But San Marcos CISD will not have to make so-called Robin Hood payments to the state or poorer district as long as its maintenance and operations tax rate remains below $1.06. That portion of the tax rate is set at $1.04 this fiscal year; the district levies an additional 33 cents to make payments on debt.
If the district’s tax rate exceeds that ceiling — or if the district’s per capita property values rise above $374,200 in future years — the district has to make the equalization payments or otherwise reduce its wealth by consolidating with another district, detaching property, purchasing attendance credits from the state, contracting to educate students of other districts or consolidating its tax base with another district, Abild said.
Taxable property value in San Marcos CISD increased from about 2.93 billion in 2007-2008 to about $3.14 billion this fiscal year.