ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – In Angelina County there are 15 entities, at least partially-funded by property taxes. Lufkin property owners pay county, city, school district and college property taxes. Until 1993, each of those were collected separately. Now, the county tax assessor/collector does it all.
"I collect for all the entities in the county," said Angelina County Tax Assessor/Collector Thelma Sherman.
Essentially, those entities don't run their own collection offices, a costly practice. For the property owner who pays taxes to several different entities the county office becomes a one-stop-shop.
Lufkin City Manager Paul Parker believes in the consolidation at the county.
"It's a lot more convenient for the tax payer. They don't have to run around to every to every entity to pay their taxes," said Parker.
Sherman says her office has charged the same flat fee since 1993. That's changing with a recent approval by county commissioners.
"I asked for an increase of my collection costs," said Sherman.
Entities like the city of Lufkin will now pay double what they did, to have taxes collected on each piece of property. This means, an estimated additional $4000 charged to the city.
"This is a substantial increase for the entities,"said Sherman.
Right now, it's not certain if the cost will be passed along to you-- the tax payer.
"It will be charged to the entity not the tax payer and it will be going into their budget... But ultimately the tax payer feels the brunt of it," said Sherman.
Lufkin city leaders say that's not the case. Plans are actually for a decrease in tax this year because the city council is anticipating decreasing it by 2 cents or 4 percent this year.
Overall, it's an unexpected boon for county government adding an estimated $34,000 in revenue.
"Everybody is looking at cutbacks and everybody is looking at ways to bring in more revenue," said Sherman.
Something generally unheard of in this economy.
The fee increase will help shoulder the burden of running the tax collection office.