Angelina commissioners approve budget with higher taxes

Ginger Lymbery
Ginger Lymbery

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Elected officials say they dread raising taxes.

Upset homeowners don't want to hear it.

"I think there's a lot of anger out there right now, and I don't think it's going away anytime soon," Ginger Lymbery said.

Lymberry thinks the tax hike could cost county leaders their job.

"They've lost that trust because they're not supporting the people who support them," she said.

It's a swarm of criticism that County Judge Wes Suiter says he can't wrap his mind around.

"We're going up a penny and half next year, but over six years it's just gone up a half cent," Suiter said. "That's not spiraling out of control!"

Scott Cooper, who is running for a commissioner's seat that is being vacated, says he has highlighted what a critical time it is for the county.

"It's a judgement call," he said. "We do the best we can for our taxpayers and hopefully, they'll understand why we're doing it in the long-run."

The final budget vote came after months of budget workshops and public hearing, all of which, the judge and commissioners warmly welcomed residents to attend, so they could be informed on the budget process.

The debate is over. Tax rates will increase next year. Suiter says he understands the concern, but explains the county isn't immune to rising costs.

"When is the right time to increase taxes?" he said. "There is no right time, but it is a necessity."

Lymbery isn't satisfied. She says the taxpayers will have their say in the next commissioners election.

"We're going to change things this year," Lymbery said. "And we'll continue to do it until we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people again."

Suiter says his court has always worked for the people of Angelina County and voters should remember that at the polls.

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