Silva says county is working to get lawsuit out of the courtroom
by Scott Reese Willey
Nov 15, 2009 | 1393 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioners hope to avoid spending taxpayer dollars on legal expenses by persuading Beeville ISD to drop its lawsuit against the county.

That’s the message Bee County Judge David Silva shared with those who attended the regular monthly commissioners court meeting on Monday.

“We’re trying to find some alternatives to (paying more legal bills), to get it out of the courts,” he said.

Beeville ISD filed a writ of mandamus against the county in October in hopes of forcing the county to collect the school district’s property taxes this fall.

After reviewing the writ, a district court judge ordered both parties to enter into mediation.

BISD and the county hired attorneys to represent their interests in the matter.

Beeville school trustees say they were forced to take legal action against the county after commissioners adopted a higher tax collection rate and forbid the tax assessor-collector from collecting taxes at any other rate.

Immediately after the writ was filed in district court, commissioners voted to rescind their motion to charge $1.98 per parcel of property for tax collection service.

Commissioners also authorized the tax assessor-collector to collect at the $1.50 per parcel rate adopted by all four school districts until the matter could be resolved.

Commissioners sent representatives to a meeting with representatives from BISD earlier this month in hopes of persuading school trustees to withdraw their lawsuit and allow both parties time to work out an agreeable solution without the help of attorneys.

That effort apparently failed.

District Court Judge Joel Johnson ordered the mediation and has given both parties 90 days to come up with a solution they can live with or he would solve the issue for them.
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