AUSTIN, Texas — Roughly $2.4 billion is what voters approved for schools in the Austin ISD system.
The bond package is expected to be used for improvements to buildings and may even end up boosting teachers' salaries as a result. But what could this do to your taxes?
Austin ISD officials say there could be an increase of around $0.01 per every $100 of your home's value, taking the current district debt service from 11.3 cents to 12.3 cents.
Say you have a home worth $500,000. You can expect to see an increase of around $50 in property taxes coming from the district's interest and sinking tax rates.
Though the increase is not much, economists like Matt Patton with AngelouEconomics say this is still something people are going to have to adjust to.
"It's not a huge jump, and I don't want to minimize that. Any increase is something that needs to be budgeted. But the overall pay off shows that Austin values education and that commitment benefits the current workforce and the workforce of tomorrow," said Patton.
AISD officials also say there may be a tax decrease of 6.5 cents to the overall tax rate, which includes both interest and sinking (I&S) and maintenance and operations (M&O) taxes.
Patton said this can help to offset other increases.
"We keep growing here as a city. A slightly reduced tax rate is still going to generate more revenue because there are more people coming into the area paying into those taxes," said Patton.
"This $2.44 billion will enable the district to provide the security facilities and modern technology that all of our students and teachers deserve," said Dr. Anthony Mays, the interim superintendent for AISD.
Most of the money from the three bonds will go toward modernizing and upgrading buildings like LBJ and Travis Early College High School.
"Our students and teachers will get a campus that they're proud of, a brand-new school designed to inspire learning and prepare our students for the future," said Erick Posadas, principal of Travis Early College Hight School.
AISD leaders say right now they're having to dump millions into repairs, so the bonds will help them free up money for wages and student programming.
Officials note it could take around two years for teachers to see these increased wages, but that they plan to address teacher salaries in next year's budget.
Patton said the upgrades to these schools will also have economic impacts for years to come.
"There are some really obvious ones like construction, supporting that sector of the economy and all of the ripples that we see through that," said Patton. "Beyond that, we're going to see just a better overall economy in Austin because it's a better prepared workforce, a better prepared group of graduates entering local community colleges, universities, and then ultimately the workforce."
Tax increases can be expected in the 2023-24 school year. For more information on the goals of the three bonds, click here.
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