Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My notes on Presidio County tax rate increase Public Hearing, 3:00 PM, Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa, Sept 13, 2016

Here are my notes on the somewhat sparsely attended tax rate public hearing from today.

Presidio County Commissioners Court Tax Rate Public Hearing, 3:00 PM, Presidio County Courthouse, Marfa

Judge Guevara, Loretto Vasquez and Eloy Aranda in attendance 

Convened at 3:19 PM

Public comments, items not on agenda: 
No public comments.

Judge's and commissioners announcements: None

Tax rate: proposed tax rate is .67804 increased from .63804, four cents difference.
Rollback is .68782. Below effective rate from last year as well (see scan)

Includes a three percent gross total raise for employees and elected officials with everyone receiving the same amount of money.

Waiting  on Norma Arroyo, tax assessor. She wanted to be here to comment or answer questions. 

Norma Arroyo is asked by Judge Beebe if his opinion of the Presidio County Appraisal District's misrepresenting the total difference to the County tax collections with the adoption of the new maximum homestead exemption rates. And also, does Norma agree that at the same time the PCAD was lobbying for a tax reduction they were not informing the county of the approximately $200,000 in collections no longer collectible by the county from new electrical infrastructure and that would have been the best time to do that? 

Norma answers that there was a problem with the initial calculations on the homestead and that the PCAD reps had given us the proper numbers. So after working the numbers with Patty Roach the hit to the county was not as much as initially thought. She does agree that the impact of the state mandated unfunded  tax breaks for the power systems was not presented and that since we that was such a big ticket account, it should have been brought up, if not then then sometime before that. 

Judge Beebe thanks her for her insight because it is important to point out that one of the biggest issues we have this year could have been avoided if the appraisal district had done their job in informing their clients of changes to the tax collections. Please remember that the appraisal district's clients are the citizens and the entities and if he had been giving a grade for this it would be an "F". Some laughter. 

Norma says she is satisfied with the way the homestead exemptions worked out and the other issue was pretty bad, but things will work out this year. Beebe thanks her.
Judge Guevara talks about being sure from now on that we get all the information we need before budget time. We learned a lesson here. Eloy Aranda agrees as well. 

More discussion about the importance of knowing what is coming from the State level and being sure that communications with PCAD improve re monies coming in. 

End of public hearing.

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