The Graham ISD school board held a budget workshop during its meeting Tuesday, and finances for the district look good.

Assistant Superintendent Don Davis said though the numbers won't be certain until the audit is in, it looks like the district gained about $1 million to its fund balance this year.

The unbudgeted revenue came to about $580,000 — $260,000 from state funding, $80,000 from a greater percentage of local taxes paid than budgeted, a $26,000 insurance company rebate and about $170,000 in delinquent taxes collected.

The rest was money budgeted but not spent.

For the coming school year, Davis said, the state has changed its formula for funding, so he's expecting more money from the state with an conservative estimate of a $500,000 increase.

With that, Davis recommended that the school board keep the tax rate the same at $1.347 per $100 of valuation. With higher property values, the district stands to gain an additional $30,000 for its debt service at that rate.

Terry Bishop suggested lowering the rate and giving a little back to the taxpayers.

But Davis said a bond is callable in 2023 and if the district continues to put money in the fund balance, it could pay that off early.

“You either lower the taxes or pay it off on the back end and shorten our term,” said Board President Win Graham.

“So either way, you're helping your taxpayer,” Davis said.

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“I'm recommending keeping it the same because it's not a significant (enough) amount of increase to lower it. The taxing rate is close to what we need to pay it. If we lower it and something was to happen and the values are to drop, next year we'll be faced with raising it.”

Read more about the GISD School Board meeting in the Aug. 11 issue of The Graham Leader.