Commissioners mull tax rate, set budget hearings
Gillespie County Commissioners proposed a new tax rate during a special meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher stated currently the tax rate is .3999 cents per $100 valuation. The county’s proposed rate will increase to .4081 cents.
“This would be split between our maintenance and operations for 37.95 cents and 2.86 cents will go to the interest and sinking (debt) fund,” Stroeher stated.
That proposed rate represents less than one penny over the current rate, Stroeher said.
“Many people want to know how this affects them and I will explain to you the impact of the average residential homestead for this past year and the impact for the coming year.”
Stroeher stated that if citizens are under age 65 and don’t have a qualifying disability, the average taxable value of a residential homestead last year was $274,623.
“Based on the current rate (2018 fiscal year), the taxes imposed on that residence would be $1,098.22,” he said.
For the upcoming fiscal year, with the proposed rate, the average taxable value would be $293,169 on the average homestead, so the taxes that would be imposed based on the proposed rate would be $1,196.42 or $98.20 in one year or $8.18 per month.
For those over 65 or have a qualifying disability, the tax is frozen.
“The county has $4.6 billion in total taxable value and $1.19 billion of the value is subject to the tax freeze,” he said.
This makes about 26 percent subject to the tax freeze, thus the increase in taxes affects those properties not part of the freeze, more heavily. This also applies to areas that are not just in unincorporated parts of the county.
Because the sales tax revenue is so high, the property tax rate is about 7.13 percent less. Without the half-cent sales tax rate applied, the rate would be increased by an additional 18 percent.
A second tax rate hearing will be held tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the Gillespie County Courthouse. Commissioners will look to approve this new rate during their regular meeting set for Monday, Sept. 24.
Chief Appraiser Scott Fair of the Gillespie County Central Appraisal District, presented the department’s budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
Fair stated that there was an increase of 5.8 percent, due to employee payroll and an increase in attorney fees. The appraisal review board functions also increased.
“These are areas where over the last two years we have exceeded our budgets, so we felt like we needed to take that into consideration,” he said.
New to the budget is a vehicle fund, in which Fair hopes he can build up to help cover the cost of new vehicles and any maintenance on existing vehicles.
Gillespie County Auditor Larry Crump asked whether leasing vehicles was taken into consideration, but Fair responded that it would be more expensive than purchasing the vehicles new.
Commissioners approved this budget.
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