HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — School administrators across the Valley are coming together in setting a resolution to where South Texas ISD be removed from city property taxes.
Administrators say this is has been an ongoing problem for many years.
This affects taxpayers in Willacy, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties and paying taxes for South Texas ISD comes with some pushback.
“I want to be very clear on something because I am hearing people speaking about well this discussion is about closing South Texas ISD it is in no way in closing South Texas ISD,” Superintendent of schools Harlingen ISD Dr. Alicia Noyola said.
Noyola shared a presentation with board members and the community in a resolution seeking legislative change to the funding of South Texas ISD and elimination of duplicate taxes for HCISD taxpayers.
“There is truly no difference between what is offered at South Texas ISD versus what is offered at our students here in Harlingen,” Noyola said.
Currently, taxpayers in Cameron, Willacy, and Hidalgo counties are required to pay their school districts on top of South Texas ISD.
Noyola says many students are not getting the same resources and funding which could help all students and combat achievement gaps.
“The concerns that we have here in Harlingen they’re not strictly Harlingen concerns these are concerns from school districts across the Valley school districts from Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo County and it really should be a concern for taxpayers as a whole,” Noyola said.
In a statement, South Texas ISD says:
STISD is funded the same way as other school districts within the region, but actually receives less funding since there are sources STISD does not have access to. When all sources of funding are included, STISD is not the district in the region with the highest revenue per student.
School leaders say to have one district in the entire State of Texas authorized to collected taxes from three different counties is concerning, especially when the district has the same State standards and expectations.
“It’s a Rio Grande Valley concern it should be a state concern because this one school district, it taxes more than the average tax of all the districts across the entire state of Texas,” Noyola said.
So far here are a list of superintendents from Region One that are in support of the letter:
- La Feria
- La Villa
- Los Fresnos
- Monte Alto
- Port Isabel
- Rio Hondo
- San Benito
- San Perlita
- Santa Rosa
- Valley View