County commissioners prepare for new tax rate
by By Tim Delaney
Sep 02, 2012 | 1188 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Refugio County  Commissioner Stanley Tuttle presents a certificate of achievement to Ralph Cisneros for 15 years of service to the county on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Refugio County Commissioner Stanley Tuttle presents a certificate of achievement to Ralph Cisneros for 15 years of service to the county on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
The Refugio County Commissioners Court took a record vote on the proposed 2013 tax rate Tuesday, Aug. 28.

All but Commissioner Stanley Tuttle voted for adopting the proposed 51.06 cents levy on each $100 value of property.

Tuttle said he was disappointed that a request for additional economic development funds was cut from the new budget.

He also wanted more money set aside for courthouse repairs.

Refugio County Judge Rene Mascorro said the economic development funds Tuttle wanted – $25,000 – were considered but were cut because the county may have had to increase the proposed tax rate, which is also just below the roll back rate.

He said the county also has allocated $100,000 to its capital funds, funds that will go toward repairing the courthouse.

However, Mascorro said the repairs are estimated to be at around $1 million.

He said the county is debt free currently, but it may have to – at some point – go into debt to get the courthouse repaired.

The current tax rate is 58 cents per $100 evaluation of property. So property owners can expect a decrease in taxes this coming year.

The effective tax rate – the rate needed to raise the same amount as last year to support the budget – was 47 cents for $100 evaluation of property.

Refugio County’s value increased over last year from $1.066 million to $1.3 million.

“Values went up significantly, mostly from oil and gas,” Mascorro said.

With no exemptions factored in, the owner of a $100,000 home paid about $580 last year. This year, that homeowner would pay about $510 with the proposed tax rate in place.

Last year’s Refugio County budget was $6.313 million. So far, the new budget would be about $6.501 million, or about a .04 percent increase.

Commissioners also approved discount rates for taxpayers who pay early. Taxpayers will get a 3 percent reduction in October, 2 percent for November and 1 percent discount for a December payment.

Mascorro said the discount rates help business overall to the tune of $400,000 a year. For residences, the savings for early payment is about $100,000.

Commissioners also approved a request from the Refugio County Sheriff’s Office to equip Constable J.J. Garza’s vehicle with $999.40 software and technology to help with his traffic stops and civil cases.

Commissioners also granted a request from Justice of the Pease Emi Riemenschneider to pay expenses using the county’s technology fund for a 20-hour technology school Oct. 21-24 for her full-time clerk.

Commissioners ratified an order for the Nov. 6 General Election.

Commissioners approved a new $30 Family Protection Fee that would be charged for every divorce. The fee will be collected by the district clerk’s office effective Sept. 1.

Half of the money goes to the state Comptroller’s Office, and the other half has been earmarked for Refugio County’s CASA.

Commissioners also adopted a resolution, which certifies the county made a $39,271 grant to Refugio County Elderly Services to be used between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30 to help pay for home-delivered meals to homebound people and also certifies the accounting system of the services.

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September 04, 2012
$30 divorce tax? What will the commissioners think of next? Walking down the sidewalk tax? Breathing County air tax? Maybe a tax to support collection of other taxes!!!!!!