Tax rate stand off continues at Commissioners Court

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The tax rate stand off continued on Tuesday as the Brazos County Commissioners Court were unable to set the tax rate once again.

In order to pass the proposed tax rate there must be four commissioners present at the meeting, but Precinct 1 Commissioner Steve Aldrich and Precinct 2 Commissioner Russ Ford were both absent from their seats, again. The two commissioner have been dodging meetings since early September to prevent the proposed tax rate of $0.48 from getting approved. Both Ford and Aldrich said while the proposed rate is a cent lower than the previous year, taxpayers would see around a 15% increase to their taxes due to increases in property appraisals.

Tuesday’s meeting was set to discuss a potentially lower tax rate of $0.47, but that rate was not low enough for Ford or Aldrich who are seeking a compromised rate of $0.44, which would be a neutral rate for property owners. A tax rate workshop was held on Monday, however neither side could come to an agreement.

“You’re still asking [taxpayer] to pay $5 million more than what’s required to execute the budget,” Aldrich said regarding the $0.47 rate. “No it’s not enough.”

If the new tax rate is not approved before Oct. 21 it will go to the “no new revenue rate” of $.429. Commissioners were previously told that the last day to approve the rate was Sept. 29, but due to a delayed receipt of the Certified Appraisal Rolls for the 2022 tax year, the deadline was pushed back.

Brazos County Judge Duane Peters previously told KBTX that a “no new revenue rate” would limit what the county would be able to accomplish and some projects may be “tabled” in the process.

“I’ll hopefully make another attempt doing something, reach that olive branch out two weeks from now to see if we can get one or both to come to the table,” Peters said. “That’s what it’s going to take. They’re going to have to come in.”

Ford said he is still willing to compromise and hopes for a quick resolution.

“I’m going to ask one more time that the citizens of Brazos County are patient with us,” Ford said. “This is a process and we are moving in the right direction now. I believe with all my heart that we will have a resolution before Oct. 21.”

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