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    Johnson County Tax Assessor/Collector Scott Porter distributes his tax calculation worksheet to county commissioners Monday during Commissioners Court. Commissioners decided to propose the same tax rate as last year. BURLESON STAR/PAUL GNADT

Proposal made to keep tax rate the same

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

With all the new business and residential development in Johnson County, the increase in population and property values, and the growth of the scope of county government, county taxes are staying the same as last year.

County commissioners decided to propose a rate of 0.472000, or 47-cents, per $100 property valuation for the tax rate for 2019. The rate was approved unanimously by a show of hands by all commissioners.

Since the proposed rate is higher than the effective rate but lower than the rollback rate, two public hearing on the tax rate is required, County Attorney Bill Moore said.

Public hearings on the tax rate will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Sept. 10, in Room 201 of the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.

A public hearing on the budget and vote to set the tax rate will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the same location.

The effective rate, the rate that would generate the same amount of tax revenue as last year, for the General Fund budget is 41.8 cents and the effective rate for the Farm to Market Lateral Road budget is 2-cents, County Tax

Assessor/Collector Scott Porter said. The combined effective rate is 44.7-cents, but commissioners elected a rate slightly lower.

County Judge Roger Harmon blamed the Texas Senate for not finding a better way than property taxes to fund education.

“I blame the Senate,” the judge said. “The Senate has not funded education properly and because of that, it has increased property taxes to unbearable levels for a lot of our citizens. The state is going to have to find a better way to finance education. Education affects the cities, the counties and certainly the taxpayers.

“We have to get some common sense decision making going so we can control taxes,” Harmon said.

The proposed budget includes salary raises for all county employees, including a $4,500 increase for members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (plus 4 percent of their current salary) and another 2 percent to be used at the discretion of Sheriff Adam King for salary adjustments.

All other county employees will receive a $2,000 raise plus 4 percent of their current salary.  

Burn ban rescinded

Recent rains influenced commissioners to rescinded the burn ban, allowing residents county-wide to burn.

Keene resident Roy Robinson, whose rain gauge is used by KXAS-TV Channel 5, the NBC affiliate, said he measured 5.5 inches at his home.

Early voting

Commissioners agreed on the early voting locations as proposed by Elections Administrator Patty Bourgeois.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Larry Woolley expressed concern that Precinct 1 has three early voting locations and Precinct 4 has only one. Woolley would like to see an early voting location closer to Venus, he said.

Other business

In other business, commissioners approved a request by Woolley to create a temporary three-way stop at the intersection of a construction entrance at 5520 CR 316 in Alvarado. The three-way stop is a safety issue, Woolley said.

Commissioners also approved $214,000 for indigent care for Texas Health Harris Methodist Cleburne Hospital.
Watch court Online

Readers can watch court proceedings online at www.johnsoncountytx.org. Navigate on the tool bar to Commissioners Court and scroll down to “Meeting Video.” Click on “Commissioners Court.”

The next scheduled meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners Court is 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 27 in Room 201 of the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.

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Burleson Star

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