Angelina Co. seeks comment on tax rate hike
Lufkin, TX — The Angelina County Commissioners Court will ask for public comment later this month on a proposed slight tax rate increase and operating budget for fiscal year 2012.
During Tuesday’s regular session at the courthouse annex in Lufkin, commissioners voted to set a date of Aug. 23 for a public hearing for the operating budget and a proposed adoption of a tax rate of 45.22 cents per $100 valuation.
Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter told commissioners the county can balance its budget with the effective tax rate of 45.22 cents, the rate needed to generate the same amount of revenue as last year. The current tax rate is 44.75 cents per $100 valuation.
The proposed budget would not allow for salary increases or added personnel, county officials said, and would require the transfer of about $1 million from the county’s landfill fund and about $344,000 from the general fund balance.
“We’re not generating any more revenue. With the decisions made in Austin by the Legislature and cutbacks in mental health, public health and public safety, we’ve had to pick that up,” Suiter said. “We’re trying not to put a big burden on the taxpayers this year. We’re trying to hold on and provide the same services at the same cost. Some departments we’ve had to cut. Some have remained exactly the same. None of them got an increase.”
According to County Auditor Eddie Gray, the county maintains fund balances of about $6 million in the general fund and about $2 million in the landfill fund.
“It depends on the value of their house,” Gray said of how the tax rate increase could affect the individual property owner, as some property values have declined. “It’s a higher rate, so it depends on the change of the value from last year to this year.”
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