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Trustees Approve Budget, Lower Tax Rate

BELTON, TX — The Belton ISD Board of Trustees approved a new budget and lowered the tax rate by 2 cents at its regular meeting on Monday.

The $141,757,085 budget includes additional funding for new staff associated with the district’s growth in student enrollment, salary increases approved by the Board in June and operational inflationary costs, said Melissa Lafferty, chief financial officer. 

“We appreciate the months of hard work spent by our administrative team and Board of Trustees in developing a budget that provides for the learning needs of our growing student population and for our recent salary adjustments,” Superintendent Matt Smith said. “These are priority goals for our Board of Trustees and our budget aligns with that.”

The budget accounts for the pay raise trustees approved in June to help the district recruit and retain staff. The compensation plan gave a 4% increase for teachers and professional staff, a 6% increase for paraprofessionals and auxiliary staff, and a 2% increase for administrators.

At Monday’s meeting, the Board also adopted a decrease in the district’s tax rate for the fourth year in a row. The adopted rate of $1.3371 per $100 assessment includes $0.9429 per $100 assessment for maintenance and operations and $0.3942 per $100 assessment for debt service. This is a 2-cent decrease from last year’s tax rate.

In other news, the Board approved the hiring of two companies for architectural services for projects funded by the May 2022 bond. O’Connell Robertson will work on additions and renovations at Belton High School and the Fine Arts expansion at Lake Belton Middle School. PBK Architects will work on the addition at Southwest Elementary. 

The Board also appointed 12 members to the newly-formed Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. This committee of parents, staff, students and community members will review bond projects, spending and schedules during the implementation phase of the May 2022 bond projects.

“It’s important that we bring the community along with us and show them what we’re doing with the funding they supported,” Smith said. “This oversight committee comprised of community members is one more way we can demonstrate transparency.”

Aug. 22, 2022