‘I’m afraid it’s gonna be a hill we can’t climb,’ county tax rate stalemate continues

If there is no vote before October 21, a “no new revenue rate” will automatically go into effect.
KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Brazos County Commissioners held a workshop with the only item for discussion being the new tax rate.

A tax rate proposed around $.48 has been stalled since early September due to disagreements from two commissioners. Precinct 2 County Commissioner Russ Ford and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Steve Aldrich have been dodging meetings to prevent a vote, where four out of five members must be present for a vote. If $0.48 were to pass, taxes would increase by around 15% for residents even though that is one cent lower than the current rate. This is due to a large increase in property appraisals this year.

During the workshop, Ford and Aldrich proposed a $0.44 tax rate, which would be a neutral rate for property owners.

“Today was maybe step one moving forward to some sort of a compromise on something that we could all live with,” Ford said.

But Ford and Aldrich said their proposal was met with silence. County Judge Duane Peters says this is because an agreement cannot be reached outside of a posted meeting.

“I don’t see any way around it. I mean, I’m afraid it’s gonna be a hill we can’t climb,” Peters said. “The only way to do that is to come to a meeting where it is posted where action can be taken. And, you know, they’ve indicated that they won’t show up.”

Aldrich and Ford say if they show to a posted meeting, they believe a vote will be taken for the new rate against their wishes.

“Is there any way that we can make a decision that we can get a rate set where then I can go in and vote on it? But right now I’m in exactly the same situation that I was last week and the week before that. If I go in, we’re voting, we’re gonna vote on what the majority wants,” Ford said.

If there is no vote before October 21, a “no new revenue rate” will automatically go into effect, $0.429.

Something Peters says will limit what the county is able to accomplish, but also says almost feels inevitable following this past month.

“I’m afraid we’ll be short, but it looks like we’re gonna go to that no new revenue,” Peters said.

County Commissioners have a regular meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. where they plan to discuss and take action on a tax rate no higher than $0.4735. Precinct 3 Commissioner, Nancy Berry, was the only member missing from Monday’s workshop.