SAN ANGELO, TX – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday proposed a lower property tax rate for FY2021 than the current tax rate during their regular meeting.
The move comes amid the coronavirus pandemic which officials expect lower sales tax revenues because of the economic shutdown.
Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott warned local governments not to raise property taxes during the pandemic when many people were out of work for months and struggled to make mortgage payments which include property tax.
Commissioners voted for a proposed property tax rate of .54980 per $100 in property value for FY2021.
The current property tax rate in Tom Green County is .55117 per $100 in property value.
According to County Judge Steve Floyd, the FY2021 tax rate includes .48333 for maintenance and operations and .06647 for interest and sinking funds.
By law, before adopting a tax rate, the county has to hold one public hearing on the rate.
The Texas Legislature in 2019 lowered the percentage from 8 percent to 3.5 percent that would trigger a roll back election.
Senate Bill 2 set that cap at 3.5 percent, meaning if the proposed rate would bring in more than 3.5 percent revenue than the previous year, the rollback election is automatically triggered. There was previously an 8 percent cap on year-over-year revenue before voter approval is needed.
SB 2 also changed the number of public hearings a county is required to hold before adopting a new tax rate.
Previously, two public hearings were required with any proposed tax rate. Now, public hearings are not required if the proposed rate is equal to the no new revenue rate.
The Court scheduled the public hearing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 in the Commissioners Court room on the second floor of the Keyes Building downtown.
On a to-be-determined date following the public hearings, commissioners will approve a tax rate and then adopt a budget for FY2021 in September.
In other business, commissioners accepted a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $153,974.52 to purchase 63 portable radios for the Sheriff's Office.