West ISD approves tax re-appraisals - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

West ISD approves tax re-appraisals

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WEST -

In a school board meeting, the West ISD approves tax reappraisals but also prepares for the coming school year.

The West Board of Trustees met Wednesday night "charging ahead with plans for bringing all students back to West," Superintendent Marty Crawford said. That came in a text message before the meeting but it was a good preview.

The school board touched on a number of things, but mainly it focused on getting students into West for the coming school year. Crawford said in the meeting he thinks it's important to do that so students aren't driving on I-35 to go to Connally Schools. He also said having students at other districts would deteriorate extracurricular activities.

Earlier in the meeting, though, the board approved the tax re-appraisals allowed by House Bill 585 which was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 14, 2013.

McLennan County Chief Appraiser Drew Hahn gave the report to the meeting saying residents will stay pay taxes even if their entire house was destroyed. That's because the explosion happened three and a half months into the year. That means residents would pay 29% of the pre-disaster rate and 71% of the post disaster rate. So if you have a $100,000 home with a total loss you would pay the rate for a $29,000 home plus the cost of your land.

That may sound confusing, but Hahn says he will send a letter to residents explaining everything. Then he asks residents to get in touch with him so they can figure out the reappraisals for homes not at a total loss. Hahn does say, though, there will be a significant loss.

"It'll be the largest single loss for the city of West themselves because they have less properties that they actually have as a tax base and so it'll be the largest loss to them but it'll also be a significant loss to West ISD," Hahn said.

One of the most discussed topics at the Wednesday meeting, however, was which buildings would be demolished at the middle school where the temporary school campus will be. The two disputed buildings are the cafeteria and annex building. They decided to demolish the cafeteria but keep the annex building and save repairs for that on a later date.

That means the buildings demolished will be the cafeteria, practice gym and several maintenance buildings.

One of the final things mentioned at the meeting was approval of a Guaranteed Maximum Price for construction of the temporary buildings. The Board agreed to more than $3.6 million for temporary buildings, demolition and utilities.

Board members say they hope to demolish the first building by Monday, July 1. The district is also still waiting on final approval of funds from insurance and FEMA.

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