Texas School Finance: State’s Recapture Plan Puts Pressure on Round Rock ISD Budget

Property taxes are going up for property owners across the Central Texas region—including Round Rock ISD—but those additional tax dollars are not necessarily staying in their districts to help local schools.

In Round Rock, the increase is not from a higher tax rate. In fact, Round Rock ISD’s Board of Trustees has reduced the school district tax rate four times over the past five years for a total reduction of almost 6 percent. The increase is due to rising property values in the District (the assessed values of all homes, apartments, shopping centers, businesses, etc.)

State funding formulas for school districts are designed to reduce state funding for education as property values increase. In addition, districts deemed “property wealthy” by the state, as Round Rock ISD is, must return property tax revenue back to the state to help fund “property poor” school districts. The State’s recapture plan, also referred to as “Robin Hood,” means Round Rock ISD taxpayers subsidize education costs for other Texas school districts.

Only the Texas Legislature can reverse the increasing flow of local taxpayer dollars to the state’s budget.

Tax Payer Impact

While Round Rock ISD’s tax rate was reduced by 3% from the prior year, tax bills are increasing due to rising property values. Not all of that revenue benefits Round Rock ISD schools.

2017-2018 Tax Impact

The average homeowner’s tax bill that will be sent to the state as “Robin Hood” payments:  $85

2018-2019 Tax Impact

The average homeowner’s tax bill that will be sent to the state as “Robin Hood” payments:  $307

Funding Allocation for Public Education

%

2008 state funding allocation

State Funding: 50%
Local Funding: 50%

%

2019 state funding allocation

State Funding: 39%
Local Funding: 61%

Taxpayers may be writing a larger check to Round Rock ISD for taxes, but the District does not get to keep all of it. The system is designed to put a greater financial burden on taxpayers for funding schools while the state’s contribution decreases.

The Solution

Reversing the increasing flow of local taxpayer dollars to the state’s budget rests with the Texas Legislature. It requires additional funds from the state and a commitment to higher prioritization of public education in order to ensure an educated workforce for the future of Texas.

What can you do?

  1. Contact your legislator. Share your frustration with the current system. Find out who your representative is.
  2. Demand action
  3. Stay engaged during legislative sessions