Katy ISD lowers tax rate, names new police chief at Sept. 28 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 9/29/20

Katy ISD hired a new chief of police at its Monday evening meeting and voted to lower the district’s property tax rate by 5.43 cents per $100 valuation. The new tax rate was reduced due to …

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Katy ISD lowers tax rate, names new police chief at Sept. 28 meeting

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Katy ISD hired a new chief of police at its Monday evening meeting and voted to lower the district’s property tax rate by 5.43 cents per $100 valuation. The new tax rate was reduced due to legislation passed by the 86th Texas Legislature which adjusted how tax rates are set for municipalities within the state.

“Our goal is to consistently provide high-quality education to our learners while being a good steward of our taxpayers' dollars.  With this decrease, a residential household will see an approximate savings of $148 for the 2021 taxable year,” said KISD CFO Christopher Smith.

Taxes

The adopted property tax rate keeps the debt service portion of the rate at $0.3900 per $100 valuation of a property within the district, a carryover from the 2019-20 tax year. The reduction comes from the maintenance and operations – often referred to as the M&O rate – which saw the 5.43 cent reduction. Last year’s rate was $1.0531 per $100 valuation, compared with this year’s $0.9988 per $100 valuation. The total tax rate for the district is being reduced from $1.4431 per $100 valuation to $1.3888 per $100 valuation.

The savings Smith mentioned are applicable only to the portion of a property owner’s tax bill associated with the district as other municipalities within the district such as MUDs may have increased their rates.

The new rate takes effect immediately and will be reflected on tax statements this fall.

Security Chief

Trustees also approved the hiring of Henry Gaw as the district’s new chief of police. Gaw is a 26-year law enforcement professional with experience in the Houston Police Department in a variety of leadership positions.

A press release from KISD said Gaw has strengths in building partnerships within the community, including businesses, law enforcement agencies and governmental organizations, including school districts which focus on providing positive police interactions for students and campus staff.

“I am looking forward to joining the Katy ISD team,” said Chief Gaw.  “Building relationships with officers, school staff and students is very important to me. I plan on being very visible and accessible, as officers and I work together to ensure we are consistently delivering effective, efficient and compassionate services to the Katy ISD school community,” Gaw said.

Gaw will succeed retiring KISD Police Chief Robert Jinks who retires Sept. 30.

Naming names

The school district has also announced that it is accepting name nominations for the old L.D. Robinson Pavillion near the Education Support Complex that hosted the KISD Livestock Show and Rodeo prior to the new facility being constructed on Katy Hockley Cut Off Road.

The building is currently under renovations to be repurposed for the Project Teach Your Kids Early – also known as Project TYKE – program’s new home. The roughly $5 million project will redo the facility and give Project TYKE a permanent home as well as provide office and meeting space for the district, KISD staff said in March.

“Though the program has been housed at various locations throughout the years, to see the approval of a new home for our families and children will be a great opportunity to continue providing early intervention services to our future Katy ISD students,” said ECI Program Diretor Martha Aki at the time.

The program is currently housed in portable buildings just west of the Katy ISD Opportunity Awareness Center on the Raines High School campus. Between 300 and 400 children are served through the Project TYKE program each year for a total of about 15,000 children since the program’s initiation more than 30 years ago, Katy ISD staff said.

Name nominations may be submitted until Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. according to a district press release. Forms for the nomination and policies are available through the Katy ISD website.

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