Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 15, 2012

Troup ISD could see tax windfall from certified tax levies in near future

Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress

TROUP — Combined certified tax levies assessed by the Cherokee County and Smith County Appraisal Districts could bring an estimated $3.1 million to Troup ISD's coffers.

The local school board on Monday approved the 2012 certified tax levy for each entity during its November meeting.

According to Brett Parsons, district executive director of business services, the CCAD levy amounted to $1,331,404, or “what tax bills that are going out.”

The SCAD levy equals $1,828,669, he said, adding that “we never collect 100 percent.”

The district receives funding through both county entities because it straddles two counties.

In other action, the school board on Monday approved of a 2011-2012 financial audit prepared by the Nacogdoches group Halls, Johnson, McLemore, Redfield & Rodriguez, LLP.

“Everything lookss good, there were no findings – it was a clean audit,” Parsons said, explaining that by law, all school districts must have an annual financial audit prepared.

Parsons said he presented information to the board about a proposed bond refunding, which members could approve at next month's meeting.

“We have a Series 2005 that are outstanding right now, (at) a little over $5 million, but now that bond rate, the bond market is low right now, it presents an opportunity for us to consider refinancing,” he said. “A lower rate (would) reduce  our annual debt service payment, because (compared to) our current rate, the district could save a little over $700,000.”

In a separate, unrelated action, the Jacksonville school board on Monday approved a move to refinance their school bonds, which would give the district an estimated net savings of $62,000 a year through lower interest rates, said Jacksonville ISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell.