Lubbock commissioners now appear ready to adopt effective tax ra

Lubbock commissioners now appear ready to adopt effective tax rate

LUBBOCK, Texas -

We reported Aug. 27 some Lubbock County homeowners asked commissioners to trim the budget, they did not want to face a tax increase. Now it appears that is what will happen.

Monday morning commissioners will approve Lubbock County's tax rate for the next fiscal year. It now looks like there will not be, on average, a tax increase. 

The court's agenda indicates it will vote to approve the effective rate. The effective rate shows what would generate the same revenue from properties on the rolls both last year and this year. It takes into account property appraisals. As values have steadily increased over the past several years, even when governments have set the same rate as the prior year, your bill has increased.

The effective rate is 33.978 cents per $100 valuation.

This is a change from the past month. The court originally proposed setting the tax rate the same as last year, 34.8 cents per $100 valuation. For a home valued at just over $150,000, the tax bill would increase $13 for the year to the county, if the rate of 34.8 cents per $100 valuation were approved.

Commissioners Jason Corley and Chad Seay demanded budget cuts, not a tax hike. They were elected on promises to adopt the effective rate. They told the court this past week the would not approve a tax increase.

Corley and Seay held a town hall meeting Friday night to explain their votes, in case the commissioner's court approves a higher rate.

"We worked hard on this and we just don't trust whats going on here," Seay said. "And so we want everybody to know we've worked hard everybody's agreed to the effective rate. We've agree to the contingencies... but then we have... it seems like a little game going on."

Corley said the court did initially vote to adopt the "flat rate", at 34.8 cents per $100 valuation. 

"We had some bad numbers that we didn't get 'til Friday...the Friday before we had court on Monday, so we didn't have time to work through it to find where the cuts are," Corley said. "Figure out where we can move money around."

Commissioners Seay and Corley say the budget under the effective rate covers the county's public safety obligations. They describe it as a need-based budget.

Sales tax is another large portion of the budget. Sales tax receipts have been up over the past year, meaning the county has more of this money available for this budget, as well as property taxes from new properties.

The court will give final approval to the county's budget and its property tax rate Monday morning, Sept. 9. The hearing starts at 10:30 a.m. on the fifth floor of the county courthouse.

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