NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Thumbs up on taxes?
Yes, you heard that right - on Tuesday, the Nacogdoches County commissioners approved a *proposed tax increase.
When a tax hike is proposed, it's taxpayers in opposition who usually step up to the microphone. Taxpayer Robert Ault routinely questions taxes, but not this time.
"I just want to let you know I do support what you're needing to do, but please be responsible with those funds," Ault said. "Make sure we get our monies worth and that the projects that are done are done correctly and in a timely manner and we see results."
Nacogdoches County Judge Mike Perry has opposed previous tax hikes before his election. As judge he took a voluntary pay cut and today assures tax dollars will be spent responsibly.
"I will take better care of taxpayers' money than I will my own," said Nacogdoches County Judge Mike Perry.
Chief appraiser Gary Woods explained the 5.6-cent tax increase will generate about an additional $1.5 million dollars.
"On a $100,000 [property] it's roughly a $56 increase," Woods said. On a net $200,000 [property] it would be a $112 increase."
Certain exemptions will block all increases.
"Those individuals on the tax roll that are disabled and over 65, on their residence, their tax is frozen," Woods said. "There's no increase for those individuals."
Perry made the motion proposing the higher tax rate.
"All in favor of the motion say 'aye,'" Perry said. "Any oppose. All in favor, but Mr Milstead voted against it."
Milstead kept a campaign promise of no new taxes as long as he's serving. Other commissioners supported the hike, but provide an explanation.
"As you know everything goes up," said Pct. 1 Commissioner Jerry Don Williamson. We've had a tremendous amount of damage to our roads this year and our budget just can't continue to operate on the same amount of money and it was just inevitable we had to go up on taxes."
At this point, it's still a proposed tax hike. Two public hearings specifically on the tax rate will be conducted next month. Tuesday's vote is a strong indicator of how the court is leaning.
The public hearings for the proposed tax hike are currently scheduled for Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the courthouse annex and Sept. 8 at 8:45 a.m. at the courthouse.