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TSPR

Comptroller to review four school districts affected by new Toyota plant

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn announced in September that she will conduct Texas School Performance Reviews of four Bexar County Independent School Districts (ISDs) that will be affected by a new Toyota plant, beginning with a review of Southwest ISD in fall 2003, followed by reviews of Southside, Somerset and East Central ISDs in 2004.

Strayhorn selected these districts for review because of the significant impact the new Toyota plant could have on the districts' growth rates, property values, student populations and overall educational deliveries.

"I believe that a school performance review can help the districts' administrations meet the expectations of their new neighbor, reduce the growing pains during transition, improve the quality of education and help to ensure an ever brighter future for the children of Southwest, Southside, Somerset and East Central ISDs," Strayhorn said.

Construction on San Antonio's new Toyota plant is scheduled to begin October 17, 2003.

SALES TAX

Comptroller distributes $306 million in sales tax rebates

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn delivered $306 million in monthly sales tax payments to Texas cities, counties, transit departments and special-purpose taxing districts in September 2003.

Strayhorn sent sales tax rebates of $208.9 million to Texas cities, $18.4 million to Texas counties, $8 million to special-purpose taxing districts and $70.5 million to Texas' six metropolitan transit authorities and two city transit systems.

September's sales tax rebates include local sales taxes collected in July and reported to the Comptroller in August. September sales tax rebates were up 1 percent compared with September 2002, but the state's share of sales tax reported in August was $1.32 billion, down 0.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

TSPR

Strayhorn identifies $1.8 million in potential savings for Llano ISD

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn released a comprehensive Texas School Performance Review (TSPR) of Llano Independent School District (LISD) in August outlining 67 recommendations that include nearly $1.8 million in gross savings over the next five years.

"Llano ISD is doing a good job academically--rated by the Texas Education Agency as a Recognized district in each of the last five years--but financially, controversies and allegations of wrongdoing have negatively impacted the district's stability and integrity," Strayhorn said. "Although some improvements have been made, I want to ensure the district continues to make progress toward fulfilling and maintaining its primary mission--to educate students and keep them safe."

The full text of the Llano ISD performance review can be found on the Comptroller's Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/tspr/llano/.

INVESTMENTS

Texas receives highest ratings

Texas has received the highest possible ratings from New York's top rating firms for the state's short-term notes. Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings analysts gave Texas' Series 2003 Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes their highest ratings, SP1+, MIG1 and F1+, respectively.

High bond ratings mean lower interest rates for short-term notes sold every year. That translates to millions of dollars saved in decreased debt service costs for Texans.

"The money from the sale of these notes helps the schoolchildren of Texas," Strayhorn said. "By helping fund Texas school districts at the beginning of the school year, the note sale makes it possible to avoid strapping the districts for cash until tax payments come in."