M&O and I&S
Little Elm ISD Tax Rate
Currently, Little Elm ISD’s I&S tax rate is $0.37 and the M&O tax rate is $1.17
for a total tax rate of $1.54 per $100 of certified property value. Voters approved a Tax Ratification Election in September 2015 which moved funds from the I&S budget to the M&O budget. The chart below shows the District’s tax rate over the past seven years.
*Little Elm ISD Tax Ratification Election in September 2015
The overall tax rate has remained at $1.54 for 7 years.
Estimated Tax Impact
If approved, the estimated maximum tax impact of this bond is 10 cents for a total tax rate of $1.64. For the average Little Elm ISD home, which is valued at $250,000, this represents an increase of approximately $18.75 per month. The below chart illustrates the estimated monthly tax increase to property owners in Little Elm ISD.
*Assumes $25,000 homestead exemption
^$250,000 represents the average home value in Little Elm ISD.
Public school taxes involve two figures, which divide the school district budget into two “buckets.” The first bucket is the Maintenance and Operations budget (M&O), which funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, food, and utilities. Approximately 78 percent of the district’s M&O budget goes to teacher and staff salaries. The second bucket is the Interest and Sinking budget (I&S), also known as Debt Service, and that is used to repay debt for longer-term capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections.
Proceeds from a bond issue can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of land and the purchase of capital items such as equipment, technology, and transportation. I&S funds cannot by law be used to pay M&O expenses, which means that voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase teacher salaries or pay rising costs for utilities and services.
No Impact on Senior Citizens' Property Taxes
Little Elm ISD property taxes for citizens age 65 or older will not be affected by the bond election as long as a homestead and over 65 exemption application have been filed with the local appraisal district.
According to state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older cannot be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65 – regardless of changes in tax rate or property value – unless significant improvements are made to the home.
For more information on the over 65 exemption, visit the Denton County Tax Assessor’s website.
Little Elm ISD has a bond rating of AA, which is considered to be in the high grade / high quality rating category.
Proposition B of the 2017 Bond Package authorizes the District to refund the General Fund Maintenance Tax Notes, up to $4.5 million.
By refinancing the General Fund Maintenance Tax Notes, Little Elm ISD’s general operating expenditures will be decreased by approximately $340,000 per year.
The Little Elm ISD Board of Trustees has taken advantage of bond refunding opportunities, which allows the District to exchange its higher-interest debt for that of a lower rate. Through the District's debt service management practices, Little Elm ISD has saved approximately $30 million in six years.
Read more about the District’s focus on Financial Transparency.