Only one person voices opposition to proposed county tax increase
Only one person spoke against the proposed tax rate Monday during a public hearing at Commissioners Court, and he doesn’t even live in the county.
Joe Palmer, who identified himself as a resident of Fort Worth but owns property in Johnson County, urged the court to lower the proposed tax rate.
County commissioners are proposing a rate of 0.472000, or 47-cents, per $100 property valuation for the tax rate for 2019. It’s the same rate as last year.
Since the proposed rate is higher than the effective rate but lower than the rollback rate, two public hearing on the tax rate are required, according to County Attorney Bill Moore. The first was Monday and the second will be 9 a.m Monday, Sept. 10, in Room 201 of the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.
A public hearing on the 2018-2019 budget and vote to adopt the budget and set the tax rate will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, 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.
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.
In the new business portion of the agenda, commissioners approved an expenditure of $59,000 for engineering services for the installation of an Exterior Insulated Finish System (known as “eefes”) at two buildings at the Johnson County Corrections Center (the county jail).
Architect Kenny Burns said the EIFS will eliminate the condensation issue that has been a problem at the buildings.
“Is this $59,000 negotiable?” County Judge Roger Harmon asked.
The $500,000 project involves removal and reinstallation of chain link fence, razor wire, light fixtures and gutters and the work of a licensed electrician, Burns said.
In other business, commissioners approved a request by Sheriff Adam King and Sheriff’s Office Capt. David Blankenship, who oversees the operations of La Salle Corrections, who operates the county jail, to issue a prepaid debit card to inmates who are being released from the jail.
The balance on the card would be the funds inmates have accumulated during incarceration, minus what he or she spent for commissary and other items.
The usual balance is small, many times less than $1, Blankenship said.
Issuing the card would eliminate the cumbersome and time-consuming process of preparing checks for those being released, he said.
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, Sept. 10, in Room 201 of the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.