Dang its hot!

Dang its hot! Nuff said. Relief is a day closer. We managed to finish our 4.2 mile paving project and are gearing up for our next one. We have two short stretches on the drawin board right now with a few others in mind.
We had our State of the County meeting on Tuesday. Things are looking very good financially. Our General Fund Reserves are up to just under 16 million dollars. Our Tax Rate has gone down from .5517 cents per hunnerd dollar valuation in 2016-19 to .5473 in 2020 to .5223 for 2021. What does this mean?
With a reduction in the Tax Rate, taxes should go down, right? Wrong. Property Appraisals have gone through the roof and we are paying more even with the reduced Tax Rate. I am sure that everyone has gotten their Property Appraisals by now and have cussed a little.
The increase would not bother those with a 7 figure bank account or a 6 figure annual income but, those who are working for the magical $15 an hour and have saved enough to buy a small home will be on the verge of being taxed out of it if something is not done with taxes. With the increase in everything else (and I do mean everything) $15 an hour don’t go very far.
Historically, we have budgeted more expenses than revenue but, through conservative spending by all departments, our General Fund Revenue has been increased each year for the last 12 years due to our Revenue coming in more than our budgeted expenses.
I will have more on the Appraisal District Budget, employee salaries, requested raises and whether or not there is support enough (I am all for this) for us to adopt the Effective Tax Rate instead of the smoke and mirrors of lowering the Tax Rate on the increased Appraisal figures. The Effective Tax Rate is the rate that would bring in the same amount of revenue as last year.
The County voted to purchase a couple bank buildings in Hondo for future office space for bout 2.1 million dollars. One is next to the Courthouse Annex and the other is several blocks away, facing the tracks. In my opinion, one was needed and the other was not.
With all this prosperity in County government, I think that we could pull in the reins a little and give some relief to the local taxpaying citizens for a change. The process has to start somewhere. Why not at the local level? Counties, Cities, Schools and ESD’s should join the effort…just my opinion. There are four other folks that sit at the Commissioners Court table and contribute to the decision making so, contact one of the other 4.
Believe it or not, there is a run-off election going on this next Tuesday the 24th. So far, the turnout has been embarrassingly low countywide. Voting is being held at the Community Center in Devine for those of us what live in Devine and Natalia. If you are serious about changing things, practice voting. It don’t hurt.