Williamson County Commissioners Court holds first of two public hearings on proposed tax rate

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Williamson County Commissioners Court held its first of two public hearings on the proposed tax rate during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Four individuals spoke to the court about the proposed tax rate encouraging them to reevaluate the fiscal year 2018-19 budget in order to keep taxes down.

Rick Lutowski, of Georgetown, suggested to court adopt the effective tax rate of $0.446403 per $100 of taxable valuation rather than the proposed maximum tax rate of $.466529 per $100 of taxable valuation.

“The proposed maximum rate would result in a tax increase for almost everybody, but it doesn’t have to be that,” Lutowski said. “If [the court]was to set the actual tax rate to [the effective tax rate of]$.44, the average property homeowner would not see a tax increase.”

Lutowski said it isn’t the increase in property values that is driving the tax rate but the increase in budget spending; something the commissioners could fix.

“What really drives the rate is the budget and the spending,” Lutowski said. “If you really want to keep your taxes down, keep an eye on your government budgets.”

Lutowski said he acknowledges the government’s response to a need increased spending as the county grows but added that increase growth does not mean extra spending is also needed.

The court approved a maximum tax rate on July 31. The proposed maximum tax rate is the highest tax rate the court can adopt for fiscal year 2018-19, but County Judge Dan Gattis said he believes the adopted tax rate will most likely be slightly lower.

The proposed maximum tax rate of $.466529 per $100 of taxable valuation is the same rate as the current fiscal year 2017-18. The tax rate combines maintenance and operations, interest and shrinking, and road and bridge taxes.

The next public hearing on the proposed tax rate will be held at Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. at the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. The court will vote on the tax rate on Aug. 28.

In other business

  • The court voted 5-0 to raise county employee salaries 2 percent across the board with an additional 2 percent based on merit. County Judge Dan Gattis said he would like to see 3 percent based on merit. The judge may bring this change up during the budget voting session held Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown.

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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