HARLETON — Harleton ISD trustees recently adopted a balanced budget for the 2019-20 school year and a decreased tax rate.

The trustees approved a balanced budget of about $8.3 million for the school year on Aug. 27, breaking a years-long streak of adopting deficit budgets.

The balanced budget included about $4.8 million on instruction costs, which included teachers’ salaries, as well as the raises they received this year as part of the Texas legislature’s new House Bill 3 school finance bill.

The $4.8 million in instruction costs this year rises about $500,000 from 2018’s budgeted instruction costs of about $4.3 million.

The district’s budget this year did show a drop in student transportation costs compared to 2018’s budget, with the spending amount decreasing to about $333,000 compared to 2018’s $416,000.

The budget also showed an increase in administration costs, jumping from $306,000 in 2018 to about $360,000 this year.

This year’s slightly increased budget to $8.3 million from 2018’s about $8.2 million budget is partially due to the new HB 3 legislation.

As part of the landmark $11.6 billion HB 3 passed by the 86th legislature in June, the state required districts to provide raises for teachers, provided an increase in state funding per student and reduced property taxes.

Harleton ISD trustees on Aug. 27 adopted about a 10 cent decrease in the district’s tax rate from 2018.

This year’s tax rate is $1.148535 per $100 of home valuation — about an 8 percent decrease, Harleton ISD Superintendent Brian Gray said.

At the new adopted tax rate, a homeowner with a $100,000 valued home would pay about $1,140 in taxes, about a $48 drop from last year’s bill.

The tax rate is made up of $1.068350 in maintenance and operations and $0.08 in interest and sinking.