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April, 2000

Dear Fellow Texan:

In accordance with state law, I certified the results of the 1999 Preliminary School and Appraisal Districts' Property Value Study to Education Commissioner Jim Nelson on January 31, 2000. The Commissioner uses the final values in the process for allocating state funds to school districts. After we conclude the appeals process, I will certify the final property values on July 1, 2000.

The first section of this report describes how this agency performs the annual study. The appendices list the performance measures for county appraisal districts and the values for school districts.

Senate Bill (S. B.) 4, passed by the 76th Texas Legislature and effective September 1, 1999, required my office to certify to the Commissioner two values--one with only a $5,000 general homestead exemption (T1) and one with the required $15,000 general homestead exemption (T2).

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will use the T2 values for most school districts. TEA will use the T1 value to ensure full reimbursement for school districts that would not otherwise be fully held harmless for the increased losses caused by the additional exemption amount from $5,000 to $15,000. These school districts receive Tier I state funding only or are budget--balanced districts, including the Education Code Chapter 41 school districts.

S. B. 4 also required that my office certify an adjustment for both T1 and T2 for one-half the optional percentage homestead exemption that some school districts grant. These are noted as T3 and T4. The Commissioner may provide for additional funding to these school districts with the optional exemption if (1) funds are specifically appropriated and (2) the appropriated state funds for the Foundation School Program for the school year exceed the state funds distributed to school districts.

If you have any questions, please e-mail the property tax division staff at ptd.cpa@cpa.state.tx.us. You may also call the division staff at 1-800-252-9121, or in Austin at 512/305-9999.

Sincerely,

Carole Keeton Rylander signature
Carole Keeton Rylander
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts