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Port Aransas ISD pushes for reformation of Texas’ public school finance law

Posted at 11:32 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 11:23:40-04

Port Aransas Independent School District administration wants residents to know that their property tax funds designated for the school district doesn’t all stay in the community.

Superintendent Sharon McKinney sent a letter a little over a week ago to area residents explaining how the law works that moves tax property funds from some districts to others.

According to the Texas Education Agency website, Recapture, better known as the Robin Hood law, is a Texas Education Code that makes provisions for certain school districts to share their local tax revenue with other school districts. The relative wealth of the school district is measured in terms of the taxable value of property that lies within the school district borders divided by the number of students in weighted average daily attendance.

Recapture went into effect in Port Aransas in the early 90’s.   The recapture funding means a homeowner in Port Aransas could end up seeing 78 percent of their property taxes going back to the State to be reallocated to other districts.

This doesn’t sit well with Superintendent McKinney and other ISD administrators.  The devastation from Hurricane Harvey and continued recovery efforts haven’t affected change to the law in that community.

“So you’re talking about homeowners that were maybe out of their home for months and had all those additional living expenses and some aren’t even back in their homes yet,” McKinney explains, “And yet they get a tax bill that not only says not only are you going to pay taxes for Port Aransas ISD students, but you’re going to pay a lot of tax money for students in other places.  And I think that’s hard for people to understand right now.”

Essentially the fewer students enrolled in school means less money for the district.

Superintendent McKinney says the community can get involved by expressing their feelings and concerns with lawmakers because this policy is through the state.