To the Editor,
With regard to the Richland Springs ISD bond election on November 2, 2010, which failed by 11 votes, I offer the following. Some of the proponents of the measure either were being disingenuous or simply were no informed fully about the tax ramifications of the bond measure. The contention that those taxpayers aged 65 and over would not experience a tax increase is true - BUT that is only part of the truth.
Generally, if the bond election had passed, the RSISD tax rate would have gone from $1.17 per $100 valuation to $1.50 per $100 valuation. In a pamphlet issued by the proponents of the bond election, those taxpayers over the age of 65 were encouraged not to be conerned about any tax increase. What was not explained in that pamphlet is that if the over - 65 property owner somehow enhances his/her property by any kind of improvement ( home addition, new shed, new barn, etc.), not only would the valuation increase because of that improvement, but the tax rate on that improvement would be changed automatically from $1.17 per $100 valuation $1.50 per $100 valuation. This simple fact was either withheld or overlooked by the proponents of the bond measure. Neither have subsequence articles, addressed to the public, explained the whole truth - possibly through an insufficient understanding of facts. It is certainly possible that at least some property owners who are 65 or older voted for the proposition thinking that their taxes would not increase no matter what. Since this may not be the last time that this matter is considered, I believe that it is important that all taxpaying voters in the RSISD know or be informed about the full truth of the matter and the ramifications of their vote.
If the measure had passed, taxpayers under the age of 65 would have had their RSISD tax rate change from $1.17 per $100 valuation to $1.50 per $100 valuation, a 28.2% increase in their school tax, regardless of any improvements or enhancements to their property.