5 things you missed from Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, Sept. 26

A full agenda led to a packed courtroom Tuesday as Fort Bend County commissioners adopted the 2017 property tax rate and fiscal year 2017-18 budget. Read more about the new rate and budget, as well as four other items you may have missed at the meeting:

  1. Commissioners adopt 2017 property tax rate

Commissioners and Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert unanimously approved the 2017 property tax rate of $0.453 per $100 valuation. Commissioners also approved the drainage district tax rate, which is set at $0.016 per $100 valuation, making the combined 2017 property tax rate  $0.46900 per $100 valuation.

This reflects a half cent reduction from 2016 rate, according to county officials.

During the meeting, Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Myers clarified that the county must use certain language that says it is calling for a property tax rate increase, but this language does not reflect the true rate.

 2. FY 2017-18 budgets adopted for Fort Bend County and Fort Bend County Drainage District
Commissioners adopted the FY 2017-18 budgets for the drainage district and the county shortly after adjusting the property tax revenue amounts to account for the homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey in late August. The drainage district’s budget saw a decrease of $49,774 in proposed property tax revenue, while the county’s budget was adjusted with a $1,409,218 decrease in proposed property tax revenue.

3. New justice of the peace appointed
Lawyer George Lawrence was appointed  Justice of the Peace for Fort Bend County Precinct 3. Hebert said he wrote a letter of recommendation for Lawrence.

“It would be an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Fort Bend County,” Lawrence said.

4. Upcoming commissioners court meetings scheduled, polling locations set

Commissioners approved a new commissioner court meeting schedule that includes dates through September 2019. A list of the upcoming meetings is available online.

Commissioners went on to approve a list of 67 polling locations for the upcoming Nov. 7 special and joint elections. One location was changed: the Merrell Center location was changed to Katy High School, 6331 Hwy. 90, Katy.

5. Commissioners approve switch to new property value appraisal method
Commissioners approved a variance to the calculation method for homes damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Hebert said it will essentially save homeowners money because it is a more proactive value.

Commissioners agreed to use the new Replacement Cost Value for assessing damaged homes instead of the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District value.

“…In the past we’ve used the County Appraisal District rules because they were there, they were quick,” Hebert said. “The county engineer realized FEMA has another format for coming up with value which is based on the actual market value.”

Hebert said the Replacement Cost Value will be based on the value of a house before the flooding events.

[We are essentially making the switch so that] homeowners will have a better shot at getting a little bit more money,” Hebert said. “It won’t make a huge difference, but every little bit helps.”


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