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School taxes will go down for residents

Independent School District 196 has continued its trend of shrinking levies.

At its regular meeting Monday night the District 196 School Board approved a $73,784,528 levy for taxes payable in 2013. That is down 2.72 percent from last year's $75.85 million levy and down $5.6 million from four years ago, when the levy was $79.37 million.

More than half of the district's levy - roughly $47.5 million - comes from voter-approved levies.

The district's property tax levy has declined steadily over the past four years, as have property values. In 2008 the average home value in the district was $284,000. This year that home is worth $216,000.

All that should contribute to lower taxes for district residents. Last year the owner of a $232,000 home in the district paid $1,128 for the district's share of property taxes. This year the owner of that same home will pay an estimated $1,066.