County commissioners approve a proposed property tax rate
By LYNETTE SOWELL
On Monday afternoon the Coryell County commissioners proposed a property tax rate for 2017 of 54.5300 cents per $100 during a special meeting at the county annex in Gatesville.
The county property tax rates issued by the office of Justin Carothers, the county property tax assessor/collector, include an effective tax rate of 49.0011 cents per $100 and a rollback tax rate of 54.5300 cents per $100. The 2016 property tax rate was 49.366 cents per $100.
The effective tax rate is the total tax rate needed to raise the same amount of property tax revenue for Coryell County as it did for the same properties in both 2016 and 2017 tax years.
The rollback tax rate is the highest tax rate that county officials may adopt before voters can petition for an election to limit the rate that may be approved to the rollback rate.
The county is holding two public hearings regarding the proposed tax rate, one on Monday, August 28 at 9 a.m. and the second on Tuesday, September 5 at 9 a.m. Both hearings will be held in the commissioners courtroom located at 801 E. Leon St. in Gatesville.
Although the court approved a proposed tax rate, it did not approve a proposed budget.
“The Commissioners’ Court did not approve a ‘proposed FY 18’ budget on Monday but after some additional discussion with department heads, I expect that a proposed budget will be approved in court on August 14,” said Coryell County judge John Firth.
A draft of the proposed departmental expense increases for the 2018 fiscal year had an initial tally of $1,366,890, with the majority of those county departmental increases coming from law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office and the courts. Some of the proposed and requested departmental increases include three more personnel in the Sheriff’s Department and one additional position for the jail, plus one position in the Road & Bridge Department. The 52nd District Court’s requested increases are up 24.9 percent and the 440th district court, new in 2017, will require a full 12 months of funding.
“Unfortunately, increasing numbers of major crimes to include multiple capital murder cases has increased requirements for all departments associated with law enforcement, prosecution, and the courts,” Firth said regarding those departmental increases. “We look forward to discussing these challenges and the need to increase expenditures for these departments during our upcoming hearings.”
The county commissioners will convene on Monday, August 14 at 9 a.m. for their first regular meeting for the month in the commissioners courtroom located at 801 E. Leon St. in Gatesville.