NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Higher tax rates will be a reality for many Texas property owners next year.
Another widespread reality is older jails left in the hands of taxpayers. Nacogdoches County is dealing with both critical issues.
Nacogdoches County Commissioners have proposed a two-cent hike in county taxes to property owners. If approved, the 60.65-cent rate will generate the same revenue as last year. Lower property values create the flat return.
"Basically it's because of the devaluation of the minerals," said Pct. 3 County Commissioner Jim Elder.
Property owners are likely to see a bump in taxes.
Eventually, the request could be grander, perhaps even a jail bond issue.
The court learned Tuesday from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards' executive director that Nacogdoches County is on a less than favorable list.
"Jails across the state of Texas that are in jeopardy and we were identified as one of those jails," Elder said.
Last week a state inspector made a technical assistance visit to the Nacogdoches County jail.
"To say, 'There has been some deficiencies. I know you guys have worked hard on them, but I know the deficiencies are growing faster than you can fix, but we're at a point where we have to get some of these things fixed.'" Elder said.
Three years ago, jail staff used inmate labor to make numerous repairs, but Elder said the jail is past renovation. Jail replacement brings up a four letter word that Elder is willing to say.
"I'm not afraid to say the word bond," Elder said. That is the only way you can get $25 million to build a jail."
Elder said, for now, the court is not pushing a bond issue, but instead it is working on short- and long-term jail improvement plans.
It's important to point out the Nacogdoches County Jail is currently in full compliance with state standards. The failure of addressing deficiencies could lead to orders to house inmates out of county.