Unfortunately state law encourages school districts to avoid maintenance on buildings until they reach the point where they have to be replaced.
Locally the districts have had us paying for the new buildings by taking on debt through bond issuances.
School districts are allowed to set two different property tax rates.
The first is known as M&O (maintenance and operations) with the second commonly called I&S (interest and sinking fund). Bonds are paid for out of I&S taxes.
If our numbers are correct the state has placed a cap (maximum) on the M&O rate at $1.50 per hundred dollars of property valuation and has capped the I&S rate at fifty cents per hundred dollars of property valuation.
If the districts were to properly maintain our buildings the costs would have to come out of the M&O funds. When they ignore maintenance and end up having to build a new building they get to use I&S funds.
Last year EPISD’s M&O rate was $1.07 per hundred and their I&S rate was twenty-four cents per hundred. Remember that this was before the new bonds have been issued. The I&S rate will go up when they are issued.
We deserve better