By Kathi Bliss
Texas law caused confusion for some Commissioners on Monday morning when they were asked to approve a tax rate that, although lower than last year’s rate, affects nearly a 5 percent increase in tax revenue.
The adopted tax rate, $0.6907 per $100 of valuation, is technically lower than last year’s rate. However, the County would have only needed a rate of $0.6581 per $100 (the effective rate) to collect the same amount of tax revenue.
Commissioners Joe Roland and Neto Madrigal expressed concern that, although County Judge Tom Bonn has said repeatedly that the County is lowering the tax rate, the motion before the Court actually called for a tax increase.
The measure had been advertised in local media several times, and discussed with the Court.
“Truth in Taxation requires us to notify people that we’re generating additional revenues,” explained County Auditor Larry Roberson. He offered an explanation of the effective tax rate, and reminded the Commissioners that the budget they passed last week requires the additional revenues, and the rate of $0.6907, to be funded.
After Roberson’s explanation, the Court voted unanimously to adopt the tax rate.
In other business, the Commissioners engaged in a brief discussion about renovations needed at the Luling Annex.
An asbestos report done in October 2012, suggested a price of $9,200 to remediate asbestos contained in the mastic beneath the flooring of that facility, which will be removed during the upcoming renovation project.
Additionally, the lowest bid on the project did not include electrical work required on the project, so an updated negotiation with the contractor, Reyna Drywall, will be required before moving forward on the project.
In brief news:
The Commissioners heard several financial reports, including the county investment reports, fee collection reports from the sanitation department, and tax collection reports from the Caldwell County Appraisal District.
They approved an investment of $10,000 in the Greater San Marcos Partnership.
The Court approved several budget amendments.
They read a Proclamation declaring October 2013 National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
First Lockhart National Bank won a four-year contract as the County’s depository.
The Commissioners discussed a service agreement with Motorola for radio equipment, but because of questions about agreements with the City of Lockhart and other radio holders, the Court opted to table the discussion until their next meeting.
The Caldwell County Commissioners routinely meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the conference and training room at the LW Scott Annex, 1403 Blackjack St., in Lockhart. The meetings are open to the public and webcast at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.