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Kerens ISD hears about solar project taxes

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KERENS–Kerens ISD trustees heard a Nov. 15 report on the status of the proposed tax limitation agreement with a planned solar project within its boundaries. It is expected to limit the project’s property valuation to $40 million for the school district’s maintenance and operations portion of its tax rate over 10 years.
Attorney Michelle Alcala of Sara Leon & Associates in Austin said during a public hearing that the Texas Comptroller is still reviewing the proposed agreement for the Chapter 313 School Value Limitation Agreement, under which a qualified business agrees to build or install property and create jobs in exchange for the 10-year limitation on the taxable property value. The business pays the full amount of property taxes for the Interest and Sinking (I&O) portion of the school district’s tax rate.
Alcala said the Comptroller has decided that the state benefits of the Fence Post Solar Project south of Powell outweigh the costs over the life of the agreement. Alcala also said the project is expected to create seven permanent jobs paying at least $75,000 per year, under contractual terms of the proposed agreement. The applicant is seeking a waiver from the state’s usual 10-job minimum, Alcala said.
Alcala stated that Kerens ISD is estimated to receive a total of $1.2 million in revenue protection payments in the 2024-25 fiscal year, along with $756,230 in supplemental payments over the life of the proposed agreement. Alcala also told the board that Region 12 Education Service Center in Waco, which was hired by the district to perform an economic impact analysis of the proposed agreement on the district, will monitor the performance of the agreement, along with the Comptroller.
In other business, the board:
• Approved purchasing a new videoboard sign for the front of the administration building, with the $33,000 cost donated by the Fence Post Project owner, Enel Green Power.
• Approved paying Ludco $29,865 to fix electrical and lighting issues in the district’s ag shop.
• Approved paying Region 12 $35,000 for federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant monitoring assistance.
• Approved paying Cynergy Technology $26,000 for a custom-configured storage array for the district’s network servers.
• Approved moving regular board meetings to Dec. 13 and Jan. 24.

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