County approves 4-cent tax hike


By LPR Staff

In a process met with very little public commentary, the Caldwell County Commissioners” Court quietly approved a tax and budget increase on Monday morning.
Only one citizen in attendance at the meeting addressed the Court regarding the budget, suggesting that the tax increase was unfair because of the slow rise of County

services. Neither he, nor any other Caldwell County resident, addressed the Court during a series of public hearings held over the last month regarding the budget and tax increase.
According to County Auditor Sonny Rougeou, much of the increase, both in the budget and tax rate, can be attributed to the construction of the Caldwell County Jail Annex and the pending expansion of the existing jail. Payments for both construction and the bonds involved with the project are included in this year”s figures.
All told, tax revenues for the county will increase an estimated $709,548 over last year”s revenues. Around $146,250 of that total will be raised from property added to the tax roll this year. An additional $54,000 is based on increased appraisal values throughout the county, according to County Judge H.T. Wright.
The approved tax rates for the coming year are: 0.0629 per $100 of valuation for maintenance and operations; 0.0004 for farm-to-market roads; and 0.0804 per $100 for debt service, bringing the total tax rate to 0.6837 per $100 of valuation . This rate is below the set rollback rate of 0.6838 per $100.
In other business, the County received proposals from two companies for the purchase of new tractor equipment. However, because one company did not meet the bid specifications, the Commissioners voted to send the sale out for re-bid.
Wright noted the County”s architect, Joe Santopetro, had received bids on the construction of the expanded jail complex. A bid-opening was scheduled last week, and Wright expects Santopetro to have a proposal prepared for a contractor recommendation by the Court”s next meeting on Oct. 8.
In brief news:
The Court approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Martindale to provide routine maintenance, for a cost, on certain roads located within the Martindale city limits.
They decided to leave the outdoor burning ban off until further notice.
The Commissioners approved variances for two county residents to sell tracts of land.
With the guidance of state law, the Commissioners approved changes to the county”s On-Site Sewage Facility Order, restricting the individuals who can work on such systems.
The County paid bills in the amount of $93,952.44, including $5,636 in indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners” Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.


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