What Leander homeowners should expect from passage of Leander ISD bond election

The Leander ISD Board of Trustees congratulates itself on keeping the same Tax Rate of $1.51 per $100 valuation for the past six years. So what is the true impact on real homeowners when, year after year, the LISD Board sets the Tax Rate at $1.51 rather than the Effective Tax Rate of $1.37 per $100 valuation?

Following is the real Effective Tax Rate if LISD applied a neighborhood-specific Effective Tax Rate in Leander (i.e. establishing a 2017 rate that would extract the same amount of property taxes from Leander homeowners as in 2013):                      

Benbrook Ranch I 10.62% 49.77%
Benbrook Ranch II 11.06% 52.04%
Boulders at Crystal Falls 8.78% 40.06%
County Glen 9.05% 41.40%
Highlands at Crystal Falls 6.35% 27.91%
Horizon Park 10.16% 47.31%
Lakeline Ranch 8.53% 38.82%
Mason Creek 9.87% 45.73%
Mason Creek North 11.06% 52.03%
Mason Creek, Blk 3 10.79% 50.70%
North Creek Ranch 10.75% 50.48%
Northcreek 10.40% 48.48%
Oak Ridge 9.08% 41.54%
Ridgewood South 9.41% 43.38%
Timberline West 12.56% 61.21%
Vista Ridge 9.32% 42.88%
Westview Meadows 10.83% 51.08%
Westwood 12.95% 62.78%
Woods at Crystal Falls 9.62% 44.40%
Woods at Mason Creek 10.54% 49.27%

At the above rates, the school tax portion of most Leander homeowner’s tax bills will double every 7 years. If these rate increases are sustained, in just three more years school taxes will be more than twice the amount of 2013 taxes.

For those homeowners with mortgages and who are not escrowing their own property taxes, this explains why monthly payments continue to escalate year after year.  It also explains why many homeowners are paying more per month in property taxes than when they were renting, or that the portion of their monthly payment for property taxes exceeds the portion of their monthly payment being applied towards principal.

A major contributor to the tax rate is debt. When voters authorize Leander ISD Board of Trustees to issue more bonds, the voters are in effect, putting their homes and property up as collateral.  Leander ISD Board then sets a tax to be levied against the property for repayment of the bonds. The owner of the average home within Leander ISD is paying approximately $100 per month just to service Leander ISDs debt, before any new debt is authorized.

Leander ISD taxpayers currently are on the hook for over $70,000.00 of debt service per student. The election showed that the majority of Leander ISD voters (mostly Leander ISD employees and parents of current students) who bothered to vote have an appetite for adding to that debt.

*Calculations were based on average Assessment Values of at least six residential properties selected at random from the neighborhoods specified.


Copyright © 2017 Don Stroud