Houston School Board To Consider 4-Cent Tax Hike

At its meeting tomorrow the board for the Houston Independent School District will consider a property tax increase. So far not all trustees say they support it.

Earlier this year, the HISD board approved its budget for the new year. It includes more money for struggling schools and a 2-percent raise for teachers.

To pay for that and also cuts in state funding, the board is considering a 4-cent tax hike. The average homeowner would pay an extra $72 a year.

Trustee Mike Lunceford says he saw this coming.

“I tried to explain to them when they were passing the budget that there would be a tax increase and, you know, people were trying to assure themselves that no there wouldn’t. But we both know now that, yes, there is.”

Lunceford says he’s against the current proposal. He says one reason is the budget gives more money to certain programs but doesn’t boost how much money goes to every student.

“What they’ve proposed I will vote against it. Now maybe we can come up with a better idea.”

Another board member, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, says she’s inclined to support the tax hike. She says she’s in favor of giving raises to teachers and other employees.

“So I am leaning towards voting for the tax rate. I do have a few other questions for the administration like the sustainability of Apollo because I don’t think we can’t continue to fund Apollo beyond this next year without some revamping and some reevaluation.”

There will be a public hearing on the proposed tax rate Thursday at 5 p.m. at the HISD headquarters.

The board is expected to vote on the tax rate immediately afterwards.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...