Recapture, nicknamed "Robin Hood," is a state law that requires property-wealthy school districts to send portions of their locally collected tax dollars to Austin to be redistributed statewide. By the end of the 2014-15 school year, HPISD taxpayers will have sent more than $1.2 billion in recapture dollars to Austin since Robin Hood went into effect.
Many people ask us which tax dollars are subject to recapture. Our taxes are broken up into three categories:
- M&O - The M&O tax rate provides funds for the maintenance and operation costs of our district. These taxes are subject to recapture.
- M&O Golden Pennies - Local school boards have taxing authority over six "golden pennies," which are M&O taxes that are not subject to recapture. These golden pennies, along with private gifting and conservative budgeting, have allowed HPISD to stay afloat in recent years. HPISD is currently collecting all six golden pennies allowed by law.
- I&S - The Interest and Sinking tax rate provides funds for payments on the debt that finances a district's facilities. I&S tax dollars can only be used for facilities and capital needs and require approval from voters. These taxes are not subject to recapture.
The chart below shows the percentage of HPISD's payment's for M&O taxes that are subject to recapture from 2006-2015. School boards were given taxing authority over golden pennies beginning with the 2006-07 school year.
Since Robin Hood began, the state of Texas has collected more than $17.2 billion in recapture payments from public schools. Highland Park ISD taxpayers have paid more than $1.2 billion of that total.