Longview ISD to Lower Property Tax Rate for Fourth Consecutive Year

LONGVIEW, Texas (Press Release) – The Longview ISD Board of Directors approved the proposed property tax rate for 2022-23 at its regular meeting on Monday, August 8.

If approved later this month, the proposal would see the tax rate drop significantly from $1.4394 per $100 assessment for 2021-2022 to $1.3276 per $100 assessment for fiscal year 2022 -23.

Dr. Wayne Guidry, Deputy Superintendent of Finance, said a meeting and public hearing will be held at noon Aug. 25 to discuss, review and possibly approve the proposed budget and tax rate for 2022-23.

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox spoke to the council about the district’s history of lowering the tax rate over the past three years, after keeping the rate steady for nearly a decade.

“The council maintained the same tax rate of $1.5130 from 2010 to 2019 — when the district lowered the rate to $1.4430 — and we’ve continued to lower it every year since,” he said. “It illustrates how Longview ISD has worked to offset the sharp increase in property tax assessments that are well beyond our control.”

Although the district has reduced the LISD property tax rate for the past three years, the amount of property taxes collected may increase due to an increase in property value, which is determined by the assessment district. County.

In accordance with state law, the tax rate ultimately adopted at this meeting cannot exceed the proposed rate, unless the district issues a revised notice containing the same information and comparisons, in addition to holding a another public meeting to discuss the revised notice.

Local stakeholders are invited to participate and share their comments on the proposed budget and tax rate for the coming fiscal year.

For questions regarding the budget and proposed tax rate, please contact the district at [email protected] or call 903-381-2200.

Trustees later unanimously approved changing local council policy to create a “sick leave bank” for district employees who have exhausted their regular paid days off.

Presented to the board by Dr. James Hockenberry, Assistant Superintendent of District Services, the purpose of this bank “is as a benefit to help employees deal with prolonged, severe, or life-threatening conditions that require them to exhaust paid time off and otherwise result in loss of revenue. »

“The sick leave bank is a collective deposit of days off received from registered employees and subsequent member contributions,” he said. “Participation in the district sick leave bank is voluntary.”

Dr. Hockenberry explained that to become a member of the sick leave bank, an employee must contribute one day off per school year of participation. The sick leave bank will have an open enrollment period each year on a specific date.

“All existing employees are required to complete a sick leave bank enrollment form each year with their opt-in choice during the current open enrollment period,” he said. “New employees hired during the open enrollment period will be able to enroll in the sick leave bank for the current year.”

Days deposited in the bank become the property of the sick leave bank and can no longer be used by the employee as accrued leave. Upon retirement, an employee can donate their unpaid days off to the sick leave bank.

“We have employees who are lucky enough to never have to take a day off, but the unexpected can happen to anyone,” he said. “There are also times when a serious health emergency, either for them or for an immediate family member, causes an employee to miss more days than they have accrued.”

Dr Hockenberry said more details about the program will be provided in the coming days, both via direct email and posted on the Human Resources section of the Longview ISD website.

“Ultimately, we want our employees to know that they are cared for and that their peers are ready to help them in a personal crisis,” he added.

Please Click here to download the resolution and associated documentation. For more information, please contact LISD’s sales office at 903-381-2200.

Dr. Wilcox also shared some of the factors that were considered before the district purchased 62 acres of land north of the high school baseball and football fields on Hawkins Pkwy. at a special meeting on June 22.

Longview ISD paid local residents Mr and Mrs Keith and Leslie Nance a total of $5,634,997 for the property, which then donated $1,000,000 to the district.

Dr. Wilcox explained that property in this area is “extremely valuable due to the considerable development already underway,” such as the $30 million Christus Hospital expansion and the Fourth Street expansion project.

“If you look at other real estate acquisitions in this area, you’ll see quite a big difference between the ‘value of the property’ and the price it actually sold for,” he said. “The use values ​​for timber and agriculture are still lower than most other values. The wood exemption is what the owner paid in taxes, but the use of the land is now changing.

If a local developer had purchased the property, Dr Wilcox added, “they would have paid a much higher price than Longview ISD”.

“The bottom line is that the Longview ISD Board and Administration made the wise decision to purchase this property at a fair price, which was also less than previous purchases per acre on other properties,” said he declared. “We believe the acquisition of this property will prove to be an extremely beneficial investment for the students, employees and community of Longview ISD.”

During the Superintendent’s Report portion of the meeting, Dr. Wilcox presented the Resilient Schools Support Program (RSSP) Accelerated Learning Plan to administrators. The program was created with federal COVID-19 relief funds by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide school districts with new resources to build resilience in their school communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other elements of his report included campus safety and security for the coming year, the district providing free meals to students, as well as various updates from the Office of Innovation and charter partners. district public schools.

Dr. Wilcox also discussed the lack of federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act. The 2020-21 school year saw a federal funding shortfall of $23.6 billion, forcing states and districts to fund this imbalance.

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