County tax rate increase looms

July 31, 2013

Twenty-four hours before a specially called Commissioners Court meeting to discuss a proposed tax rate for the new fiscal year, County Judge Darrell Cockerham told the Hood County News that a tax rate increase is inevitable.

“We have lost close to $110 million worth of valuations,” he said, referring to property valuations as set by the Hood County Appraisal District.

The effective tax rate for 2013-2014 is 0.3739 cents per $100 valuation, he said. The current tax rate is 0.3439.

Cockerham said Monday that he would be presenting commissioners with the budget at the Tuesday morning special meeting, which was to occur when the Hood County News went to press. That budget, he said, “includes everything that people have asked for,” but “that is not what’s going to be passed.”

Commissioners, he said, will “start whittling and cutting” departmental budgets in an effort to keep down the costs of county government, as well as the tax rate.

“I don’t know where all this money is coming from when people have asked for more money,” Cockerham said. “Commissioners have got to make some hard decisions.”

The county judge is mandated to present the budget to the Commissioners Court at the end of July. The final version gets adopted by the court in September, and it takes effect on Oct. 1.

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