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Members of the MISD Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the Property Auto Tax as a source of revenue at a meeting on Monday, March 6.

“Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, so citizens are taxed on property and houses,” Dr. R.L. Richards, MISD superintendent, said. “There are still some counties in Texas that have the Property Auto Tax. If they had a car that was newer than 10 years old, they paid a certain amount of tax on the appraised value. At one time, the city, the hospital and the school district had the tax. It goes back a long time.”

MISD business manager Myles James estimates revenue from the Property Auto Tax at $300,000.

“It’s significant,” he said. “The school board is acting in good faith to reduce taxes on people in the school district.”

James added that the state of Texas has about $33 billion in carryover.

“The state legislature is meeting right now. Schools and teacher compensation are among the items on their list to be considered, so we’re hoping the loss of revenue will be made up by increased funds coming from Austin,” James said. “Rather than creating a tax burden on Muleshoe, we hope to get revenue from the state rather than from the local taxpayer. There will still be local property taxes on houses and land, but there won’t be a vehicle tax.”

Earlier in the school year the school board reduced property taxes by a fraction of a penny.

“That’s significant because the reduced homestead exemption for $40,000 on houses lowered property values by $40,000 on our homesteads. For the last two years, local taxes for MISD have actually been lower,” James said.

All members of the board and administration that were present signed the resolution. Sergio Leal, who was absent from the meeting, advised Richards that he wanted to make sure his name was also on the document.

“After the school board signed the resolution, they all let out kind of a loud ‘Whoop!’ It’s kind of unheard of to be lowering taxes, but we’re doing in good faith, and I hope the Lord blesses it,” Richards said.

Gail M. Williams

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