Delinquent taxes should be part of budgeting; TISD Recognized for Financial Reporting | Region

Although more than $1 million in delinquent property taxes are still owed to Temple ISD, Superintendent Bobby Ott noted how the district — like other taxing entities in the region — expects collection rates below 100. %.

“When school districts go into their budget process, they do revenue projections…and that’s based on a lot of different things,” he told Telegram. “It’s based on the number of students, average daily attendance, (owners) values ​​and taxes collected. We therefore take a conservative approach.

This approach is based on an assumed property tax collection rate of 98% to 98.5%, according to Temple ISD.

“To me, taking a conservative approach when you’re budgeting is no different than having contingencies built into certain areas because it allows you to manage unforeseen circumstances that arise,” Ott said. “It’s a fairly common practice in school districts. I don’t think you will find a school district that is 100% functioning. »

The fourth-year superintendent pointed to this practice as one of the many reasons why Temple ISD was recently recognized by the Association of School Business Officials with a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting.

“Once again, TISD is recognized as a leader in financial transparency and accounting practices at the state, national and international levels,” he said. “The combination of having the lowest tax rate of all surrounding school districts and providing quality services is recognized for a third consecutive year. Taking care of our taxpayers as well as our students is a responsibility we take very seriously.

Outstanding property taxes due by tax year, as of December 31, 2021, included $293,210 for 2020, $202,017 for 2019, $123,023 for 2018, $90,547 for 2017 and $64,358 for 2016 – taxes as Round-Rock based MVBA law assists Temple ISD in collection.

“The older the taxes, the more we’ve collected,” Matthew Tepper, an attorney at MVBA Law, said at a Temple ISD school board meeting on Monday. “But these collection figures do not happen by chance. We have a team of people and three full-time employees who work in the Bell County tax assessment district, and what they do is send letters to people trying to get them to pay.

Although property tax collection rates initially plummeted when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Bell County, Tepper noted how they eventually rebounded.

“We saw a three, four, five month period where collections dropped quite significantly,” he said. “But as the world started to come back a bit, we saw it pick up again, and it almost made up for that time.”

Tepper – who noted that 13,943 overdue property tax notices were mailed to Temple ISD residents between July 1, 2019 and December 31, 2021 – credited the distribution of federal stimulus money and the blockages related to COVID-19 for this recovery.

“If you were lucky enough to have a job or an income that remained relatively stable – even during the shutdowns – your cost of living likely dropped significantly,” he said. “You weren’t going out to eat as much, you weren’t traveling and you weren’t taking vacations. So there was a period where it looked very, very poor, but I really felt like it was covered pretty quickly.

Ott thanked Tepper and his colleagues for their efforts.

“I wanted to thank you and your company for your support of TISD,” he said at Monday’s meeting. “I know it’s not a fun process…but we’ve been so grateful for your service in enabling us to do the things we need to do.”

Residents can contact the Bell County Tax Assessment District by phone at 254-939-5841 for information on how to make a payment or to set up a payment plan.

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