Taxpayers ask commissioners to trim budget

Taxpayers ask commissioners to trim budget

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

During a public hearing Monday, some Lubbock County homeowners said they have been taxed too much for too long. They want commissioners to trim the budget so they do not face another tax increase.

"I wanna know, have y'all thought about spending cuts?" one person asked commissioners. "Has that come across y'all's mind at all? Y'all are trying to spend our hard-earned money, that's not right."

This was the first of public hearings, required by the state since the county's proposed budget and tax rate would draw more revenue from existing properties.

"Things happen to our budgets, and we have to look for ways to cut," Mark Smith told commissioners. "Mistakes are made, bad deals are made, and I don't feel like going and soaking the taxpayers for it is responsible. I mean, you gotta learn to live in what you're spending."

Commissioners say setting the property tax rate the same as last year would raise enough money to provide four new deputies and keep response times down. The proposed rate of 34.8 cents per $100 valuation is about a cent above the effective rate. 

The effective rate shows what would generate roughly the same property tax revenue from properties on the rolls both last year and this year. The growth that county leaders have mentioned is additional revenue beyond the greater amount generated by setting this proposed rate. This also does not include more money coming in from increased sales tax receipts. 

When considering the average increase in appraisal values, for a $150,000 home, the property tax bill for the year to the county would increase $13.

The second hearing is Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 10:30 a.m. on the fifth floor of the Lubbock County Courthouse. You can find contact information for commissioners here

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