State funding in jeopardy for two school districts

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By Angela Guillory

State funding is in jeopardy for two school districts after property value study results were released Jan. 31 by the state comptroller’s office. Two other school districts’ values were found to be invalid but state funding will remain intact for 2013-2014.

Cass County Chief Appraiser LeAnn Lee said the results of the 2012 property value study by the comptroller’s office indicated four out of the eight school districts in the county are still not at market value.

The four school districts affected by the 2012 PVS are Bloomburg, Queen City, Linden-Kildare and Hughes Springs. Of the four, Lee said Bloomburg and Queen City are in the process of appealing the state’s findings.

Linden-Kildare and Hughes Springs are in their second year of grace, which is allowed, and their state funding will not be impacted this year. Lee said even though the study found the local value invalid for Linden-Kildare CISD and Hughes Springs ISD, local value was certified because the school districts are in year two of the grace period. 

Bloomburg ISD filed an appeal as did McLeod ISD in 2012. Due to the low property values in 2011, Bloomburg ISD was not given a grace period and lost funding from the state. After the appeals process, Lee said McLeod was able to maintain its state funding for 2012.

The other school districts were given a grace period, which allowed the appraisal district to make adjustments to property values in 2012. The grace period means state funding was not impacted.

Based on the 2012 property value study, Lee said Bloomburg ISD’s values were not valid again for 2012 and they were not in compliance last year, so their funding is again in jeopardy for 2013.

Queen City ISD’s values were found invalid for 2012


and the district had its second year of the grace period last year so its funding is also in jeopardy for 2013.

Lee said the comptroller pulls a random sample of properties throughout the county within and outside the city limits to perform a property values study.

After the study last year the comptroller’s office determined that seven out of eight school districts’ properties were not appraised at market value. The Cass County Appraisal District made adjustments in 2012 based on sales information.

Properties should be valued at 100 percent or as close to market value as possible.

"Progress was made last year and the district is closer to achieving that goal," Lee said on a positive note. "We will continue to refine our data and apply increases only to properties where we see sales that indicate they should be increased."

Last year, Lee said city properties were reviewed by the appraisal district. Starting in August 2012 appraisers for Cass County began reviewing property in the rural areas of the county and those appraisals will continue through March. Sometime during the summer, in June or July, Lee said the comptroller’s staff will return to begin the 2013 property values study.

If the comptroller in 2013 finds the appraised values in those school districts are not closer to market values, then 2014-2015 state funding for those school districts could be impacted.

Results of the property values study are available on the comptroller’s web site at

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