After Accounting Blunder, Lindale ISD Votes To Hike Taxes

After a $2.9 million budget shortfall, Lindale school leaders Monday night voted to raise taxes instead of cutting programs.

It was a packed house with more than a dozen people speaking for or against the tax hike. As we've reported, LISD says an underestimation of revenue and increased insurance spending led to being nearly $3 million in the red.

With the 9% increase, the district says it's on track to start fresh. One speaker says what needs to start fresh is the leadership.

Bill Hudgins called for the school board and superintendent to step down.

"I've got to contribute to the school's bank account because they spent more money than was there, by increasing my taxes. I resent it," he said.

Superintendent Jane Morrison says the district's fund balance, or bank account, is empty. However, she says this is a chance to start anew.

"We are really at 'ground zero' with our fund balance, and this should take care of [budget problems] with very conservative spending," Morrison said.

The new tax rate in Lindale is just shy of a $1.75 per $100 property valuation. That's an increase of 14 cents.

The district says instead of program or salary cuts, they'll reduce the payroll over the next several years by not replacing outgoing employees.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.