Nixon-Smiley CISD board adopts new budget, tax rate


The Nixon-Smiley Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees adopted a combined $24,408,021 budget for fiscal year 2023-24 and adopted a tax rate of $1.1146 per $100 valuation — a decrease of 3.54 cents overall from last year’s rate of $1.15.

“The board continues to do an outstanding job of supporting the students and staff of Nixon-Smiley CISD,” said Superintendent Jeff VanAuken. “Throughout the bond process, the board pledged to the voters that they would not increase the tax rate to finance the $38 million bond. Last night the board actually lowered the tax rate by 3%. This shows that the board will continue to try to provide the best resources available to our students and staff while trying to minimize the burden on our taxpayers!”

Last year, the district had a maintenance and operations tax rate of 86.46 cents per $100 valuation and a debt service rate of 28.54 cents as the district had a total taxable value of nearly $1.35 billion. Property values for the district increased to more than $1.78 billion this current tax year. The average market value of residences in the district improved from $110,708 to $119,338.

Meanwhile, voters in the district in May approved a $38 million bond package and the state Legislature approved a measure that goes before voters to authorize a homestead exemption increase from $40,000 to $100,000 in November. If approved, the average taxable value of a residence in the district will drop from $41,300 to $0 due to the $60,000 homestead exemption increase and the average residence could see a decrease in their tax bill by $474.95.

Because of these things, the district proposed a M&O tax rate of 67.92 cents and a debt service rate of 43.54 cents for a total tax rate of $1.1146, which is still expected to generate $20,808 in local revenue per student compared to the state contribution of $693 per student.

The district expects to finish the year with unencumbered fund balances of $3,625,761 in its M&O fund and $2,119,224 in its debt service fund.

The general fund budget for 2023-24 will include $15,721,327 in expenditures, compared to $1,238,400 in the child nutrition program and $7,448,294 in the debt service budget.

In other action, Sledge Engineering and Region 13 Education Service Center presented the scoring matrices from the interviews conducted for the upcoming construction project, which will be funded by the 2023 bond.

The board approved selecting Hellas Construction for the football field and track construction project while approving Weaver & Jacobs for the remaining 2023 bond construction projects. The board also authorized the superintendent to negotiate and enter into contract for these 2023 bond projects.

“We are extremely excited to start the construction process with Weaver & Jacobs as well as Hellas Construction and look forward to providing our students with the best facilities possible!” VanAuken said.

The board also approved a change in the local leave policy. As a result, the district will no longer charge the employee for use of their local leave days. There was also an increase approved in the rate of pay for the transportation department. The new rates for drivers are:

• Standard Driving Rate: $20.00

• Full-Time Route Driver: $20.50

• Tenured Full-Time Route Driver: $21.00.