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Fort Bend ISD has received a clean audit opinion from independent auditor Whitley Penn on its fiscal year 2021-22 budget.

The ruling, presented Oct. 17, which indicates a belief that the district’s financial statements are a true reflection of its financial results, comes as FBISD reports its ending fund balance of $206.8 million is $9.9 million higher than initially estimated, at $196.8 million, according to district finance documents.

The district exceeded anticipated revenues by $3 million, at $734.4 million, while expenditures were nearly $9 million less than budgeted, at $746.5 million. This means that instead of needing to spend $19.1 million of its fund balance to balance its budget, FBISD only needed $9.2 million.

The budget analysis comes as FBISD voters will decide the fate of an upcoming tax rate election, set for Nov. 8, bringing a proposed FY 2022-23 tax rate to $1.2101 per $100 valuation as the district looks to fill its budget deficit. While equal to the existing rate of $1.2101 per $100 valuation, because average taxable property values have increased since last year—$293,793 in 2022 versus $276,576 in 2021—residents would still pay higher taxes, district officials said. Should the election pass in November, the average resident would see a $208 increase on their annual property tax bill.

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