WINTERS – The board of trustees of the Winters Independent School District adopted a $6.6 million balanced budget in June, prior to the beginning of their fiscal year, which began July 1.

WINTERS – The board of trustees of the Winters Independent School District adopted a $6.6 million balanced budget in June, prior to the beginning of their fiscal year, which began July 1.

The 2017-18 budget is up from the $5.6 million from 2016-17. However, last year, the district ran a $100,000 deficit but the fund balance later covered it. This year, the budget is essentially balanced.

Superintendent Bruce Davis said the trustees were able to get the budget passed without raising ad valorem taxes. So, the tax rate for Winters ISD will remain at $1.04 per $100 valuation.

The board based their decision not to raise taxes on preliminary property values submitted to them in April by the Runnels County Appraisal District.

According to Chief Appraiser Paul Scott Randolph, the preliminary values for Winters ISD were $150,197,073.

The tax rate for Winters ISD has not been raised in 10 years. According to Randolph the median home value in Winters is $53,453 and at $1.04 per $100 valuation, the taxpayer would pay $551.91 annually in taxes.

“The valuations will be official by Aug. 25,” Randolph said.

At that time, Davis said the WISD board would make any needed adjustments to the final budget.

Davis said the board has been very diligent in making sure there is money tucked away for special projects each year.

“Our board takes $200,000 and puts it back for repair and upkeep,” Davis said.

This year, those funds will be used for air conditioners and lighting.

“We are looking at getting matching funds for some projects as well,” said Winters ISD Business Manager Rhonda Neal.

Also in the budget is a three percent across-the-board raise for teachers.

“We also went up on the math and science stipends,” Davis said.

This is the third year that the district has been using the June 30-July 1 fiscal year. And they say it helps with planning. The only other district to use this model in Region 15 is Early ISD.

“We don’t have to keep a reserve for the beginning of school,” Neal said. “At the end of the year, teachers can make their requests and we can put those requests in at the end of the school year.”