Benny Boyd

Many tax bills to show big increases

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

With the introduction of new taxing entities and higher taxes from most existing entities, Caldwell County taxpayers are likely to see increases when they receive their tax bills later this month.

According to figures confirmed by the Caldwell County Appraisal District on Tuesday, all three school districts, three out

of four municipalities and the Plum Creek Conservation District increased tax rates for the coming year, as did Caldwell County. The cities of Uhland and Niederwald held fast at their existing tax rates, while the City of Luling offered a slight decrease.

In an attempt to pass a “level budget,” the City of Lockhart worked to avoid any increase of taxes. However, a tax refund for a multi-family residential property this year forced their collective hand, and necessitated a small increase, 1.6 tenths of a cent per $100 of valuation, or a total of around $1.60 on a $100,000 property.

The City of Martindale also passed a small increase, six tenths of a cent per $100.

In municipal tax collection, the City of Mustang Ridge is by far the county’s leader, pumping their tax rate up from $0.2493 to $0.2707, at a cost of $21.40 for a $100,000 property.

Many property owners in northern Caldwell County will also feel the sting of the addition of a new taxing entity, the Hays-Caldwell Emergency Service District No. 1, will add a considerable increase for many Caldwell County Taxpayers.

ESD No. 1, which was approved by voters in November, will add a tax of $0.1000 per $100 of valuation (or $100 on a $100,000 home) for structures in that area. The introduction of the ESD tax denotes by far the largest increase taxpayers will see on their bills.

Additionally, property owners in eastern Caldwell County will see an added tax after the May 2008 annexation of nearly 77,000 acres of Caldwell County property into the Gonzales County Underground Water Conservation District. The Caldwell County Appraisal District, however, will not be collecting taxes for that entity, and the taxes to be levied on those properties were not available at press time.

The Luling Independent School District’s tax rate also marked a considerable jump, increasing 7.4 cents per $100, from $0.965 to $1.039. Prairie Lea ISD approved a 4 cent increase. Lockhart ISD, although they were able to lower their maintenance and operation rate, was forced to increase their “interest and sinking” rate, yielding a net increase of $0.0205 per $100, or just over $20 for a $100,000 property.

Caldwell County grappled with their budget for several weeks, in an attempt to protect the taxpayers in an already lagging economy. Their final approved tax rate, $0.6910 (including Farm to Market tax) shows a total increase of 0.77 cents, or $7.70 on a $100,000 property.

The Caldwell County Appraisal District planned to mail out 2008 tax bills beginning on Oct. 1, 2008.

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