Thursday, June 15, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Either way you look at it, Brownsville Independent School District taxpayers are going to take a hit on their property taxes. All that's left to debate is how big the hit will be.

There had been broad hints hinting at raising the tax raise all along and on Tuesday's special meeting CFO Lorenzo Sanchez he said that if the district wants to raise $100 million without a bond issue, it would have to approve the district administration's recommendation to raise the district’s tax rate by 11 1/4 cents per $100 valuation.

Before that, Facilities Committee chair Phil Cowen had placed an agenda item on that committee's agenda calling for passing a bond issue and "raise taxes now." That agenda was withdrawn on the same day it was posted.

Rather than seeking voter approval for bonds, the trustees seemed to favor financing options for proposed future education, facilities and maintenance projects through higher taxes.

"If you are going out for bonds, you have to have voter approval," Sanchez told the trustees. "This does not require voter approval.
"Do we have the wherewithal to fix our roofs? No we don't. How do we maximize the dollars?"

"My recommendation is to have this board raise taxes by 11 1/4 cents," Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas told the trustees prompted by questions from Dr. Sylvia Atkinson.
"Eleven cents is a big jump," Atkinson said.
"We really haven't raised taxes in some 30 years," trustee Joe Rodriguez added.
All the board members, except for Carlos Elizondo, were present at the meeting.

In the Tax Ratification Election in October 2015, 84 percent of BISD voters approved restructuring the district’s tax rate to capture an additional $5 million to $6 million in state funds. BISD’s overall tax rate of $1.15 1/4 cents remained the same, but 11 1/4 cents was moved from debt service to maintenance and operations.

The trustees agreed to move forward on an administration proposal to add 11 1/4 cents to the interest and sinking fund, resulting in a tax rate of $1.265 cents per $100 valuation. Trustees are expected to pass a $470.88 million budget June 26.

Critics of the district's priorities say that the priorities that include $4 to $5 million in artificial turf at three high schools instead of focusing on instruction and other services. Rodriguez had also advocated installing a new $800,000 scoreboard at Sams Stadium, but received little support from other members.. 
The administration will propose the new rate at the upcoming June 26 meeting. The budget must be approved by June 30. The effective tax rate generally is set sometime in August or September.


Anonymous said...


BobbyWC said...

When you have a competent board you can trust, a tax increase is sometimes necessary. But a tax rate increase to pay for the mistakes and incompetence of this Superintendent is not acceptable. The people need to make an outcry about this. Fix your management problems and the costs of running the district will go down and a tax increase will not be needed

Bobby WC

AT said...

Maybe their hearts change and they use it to hire more teachers, make classes smaller?

Benefit of the doubt in this one :)

Anonymous said...

Stop buying millions directly from the BuyBoard! These bozos are robbing us blindly! Get rid of these corrupt board members!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that BISD is raising taxes to offset the loss of students to charter schools and private schools. BISD is attacking the community by taking money and replacing academic interests with facility interests. This BISD board is fighting the loss of students by raising taxes and planning facilities that benefit sports, not academics.

Anonymous said...

How stupid can you get, Bobby! Where do you find incompetency in Dr. Zendejas who has come in shaped up all the mess left behind by previous supt who were afraid to take action. If we want our kids to be educated and our state and local government are not coming through, the local government must do something. How do you expect to meet the needs of the district if we do not raise money in form of taxes. Taxation without representation, not representation without taxation. Get off your high horse and personal agendas because we are going to get hit with 11cents increase. Just make an effort to stay away from the cigarettes and beer for a while and reach in your pocket for a couple of pennies - unless you own a palace and can't afford it on your peon retirement checks. Stop blaming a lady who had done more for the district than any of the other 22 supts, including Mr. B. Keep your personal issues in the closet. Read the info and show up for the meeting at noon on June 26 and be man enough to voice your opinions. I will be there to support whatever is needed to provide for my children and if not,I guess I can send them to St. Joe and pay tution.

JERRY said...

Fix your management problems and the costs of running the district will go down and a tax increase will not be needed.

this is true !!

to pay for the mistakes and incompetence of this Superintendent is not acceptable.


Anonymous said...

Talk about kissing some ass dam clean your lips.

Anonymous said...

The mistakes are not the superintendents. It is the fault of the board members who are too busy with personal agendas and their pockets that vote for all that has come to roost at BISD, even before Dr. Z was on board. We were in a mess because nothing was being done by previous board members who never pushed the inept super we had before, yet Minerva defends him to the end because she ran the show when he did nothing and left everything for Sylvia Atkinson to do. He didn't even have the balls to fire someone who had been indicted for fraud and decided to leave instead. Where was Minerva then?

Anonymous said...

Another example of why abortion should be legal and unrestricted. Stop popping out kids left and right, expecting to raise taxes on everyone else to pay for them, and your frivolous scoreboards and astroturf. Have fewer kids, so there are more resources and time to invest in each kid, without making them a spending free for all and burden on the community

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:51. Before you attack people for their opinion , at least have some knowledge of what you speak of. Raise taxes to meet their needs? Shut the fuck up! The District Is losing Students daily and they spend millions on artificial turf! No accountability on the school Board and Joe Rodriguez and his cartel raking in the bucks!

Anonymous said...

Did the 1:27 blogger bother to vote when the projects were presented with the TRE issue? We, the few who vote, gave it the go ahead and now we are crying about it. I agree that artificial turf is not a need, but why did we go ahead and vote for it. If you don't want to pay taxes and Abbott and Trump do not want to contribute to the educational cost, what the hell is the district suppose to do? Maybe getting the Border Patrol into all the classrooms and asking for birth certificates would solve the problem? But then, if the enrollment goes down, the teachers will not be needed and away they go and join the welfare lines and we now have to pay for them with our taxes. What a cycle? All because we don't vote. Also, why have kids if you can't afford to feed them at home and not leave it up to the schools to feed them. El orgullo is not there anymore; give me, give me, give me but
don't dare ask me for 12 cents!!!