The amount in taxes paid to GCISD is determined by the tax rate multiplied by our property value. Thus, taxes can go up 1) if rates go up or 2) if property values go up.
There are two tax rates that comprise the total GCISD tax rate, which puts the money in two different buckets for GCISD to use. One bucket is the Maintenance and Operations bucket which covers salaries for teachers and administration. The second bucket is the Debt Service bucket which is used to pay back outstanding bonds for capital improvements. The GCISD trustees set the tax rates.
Robin Hood is a Texas program which GCISD is required to pay into that takes money from the M&O Bucket. Money collected in one bucket cannot be moved to the other bucket, so Debt Service money cannot be used for Maintenance and Operations.
Because of Robin Hood, the bond program is important to GCISD. Robin Hood takes money from our maintenance and operations bucket, so it is more financially efficient to pay for capital improvement projects and equipment thru bonds that are not subject to Robin Hood.
In 2016, GCISD voted to pass the $248 million dollar bond as described here.
After the passing of the 2016 bond, the total bond debt for GCISD including principal and interest exceeded $760 million dollars (over ¾ of a billion dollars) after the new bond was added to the existing bonds we were already paying.
In January of 2020, the total bond debt was $663 million dollars including principal and interest as shown in the image above. The red on the chart above shows how much our district loses in interest payments on this bond debt.
In April of 2021, the total bond debt was $576 million dollars including principal and interest, with $390 million being principal debt. Interest varies over the years as shown in the chart above but some years we pay more than $20 million dollars in interest on our bond debt.
Being responsible with our money is very important to the success of our district.