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'Penny Swap' proposal approved, saving $3.3M for Eanes ISD
(CC)

Bridge Point Elementary School in Eanes ISD

Eanes ISD voters approved a tax rate shift that adds $3.3 million to the school district's budget without increasing taxes.


Proposition A, or the "Penny Swap" proposal, passed with 63.17% of all votes counted Tuesday. The proposition allows the district to shift its funding formula to use money from its maintenance and operations tax rate to fund routine operations—money that would otherwise be lost to the state's recapture rules, which redistribute local tax revenue across Texas.

"We are incredibly thankful to our community for its support of our students, teachers and staff and voting to keep $3.3 million local," Eanes ISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Leonard said in a statement. "This approval is crucial to our budget and our efforts to recruit and retain quality staff, maintain class sizes and operate with a small surplus rather than a deficit."

The Eanes ISD tax rate decreases slightly, ultimately resulting in no increase to residential tax bills by evenly shifting the tax burden from the maintenance and operations rate to the debt services rate, according to Community Impact.

"During these unprecedented times, it is wonderful to see our school district continues to have the support of the community," Board president Jennifer Champagne said in a statement. "That backing plays an important role in maintaining a quality education for our children and a supportive environment for our staff. We are thankful, humbled and committed to continuing a path of excellence in our schools."

The school district has paid a combined $1.1 billion in recapture payments to the state since the education financing system was established in 1993.

"About 66% of the tax payers local dollars leave our district every year," Leonard told KXAN before the election. "They write the check to Eanes ISD, and then I write a check immediately for about $100 million to the state of Texas."

On another note, Eanes ISD could potentially lose money from the state for decreased district enrollment this school year.

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