County proposed tax rate holds steady with year prior

Posted 8/11/20

Madison County Commissioners Monday agreed to move forward with a proposed tax rate of 55 cents per $100 of property valuation for fiscal year 2021, unchanged from 2020.

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County proposed tax rate holds steady with year prior

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Madison County Commissioners Monday agreed to move forward with a proposed tax rate of 55 cents per $100 of property valuation for fiscal year 2021, unchanged from 2020.

Earlier in the regular meeting of commissioners, they agreed to accept calculations of the county’s no-new-revenue tax rate (formerly called the effective rate) and the voter approval tax rate (formerly called the rollback rate), as required in Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act of 2019.

Up to January 2020, a county had the ability to increase its tax rate 8% above its effective tax rate without triggering a possible voter-approval (a.k.a., rollback) election. The 2019 legislation changed that to 3.5% and changed a multiplier for the calculation. If a county adopts a tax rate greater than the voter-approval tax rate, an automatic election will be triggered.

The voter-approval rate takes the no-new-revenue figure and multiplies it by 1.035, plus the current debt service tax rate.

For the coming year, Madison County has a no-new-revenue rate of 56.22 cents per $100 valuation and a voter approval rate of 57.05 cents per $100 valuation.

Madison County officials now report 121 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, vastly different than the numbers posted on the Texas Department of State Health Services online dashboard, a common occurrence during the past month. DSHS includes number from the Ferguson unit and doesn’t always remove active cases over 30 days from their dashboard numbers, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Shelly Butts.

“We’re using the terminology that if a case is over 30 days old, I’m considering that inactive,” she told commissioners, noting that recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control suggest returning to work 10 days after a positive test for the virus.

County Judge Tony Leago stressed the need for accurate data, but expressed optimism over official county figures.

“I would not want to do anything to make light of this, it’s a serious issue,” he said. “If we look at the total county cases and look at those over four weeks old, it’s not all doomy-gloomy.”

In other county news, Leago instituted a burn ban in the county due to low rainfall totals over the past number of weeks. The order prohibits the sale and use of fireworks and outdoor welding unless following a set of guidelines and includes a spotter, fire extinguishers and a 25-foot diameter from welding to any vegetation, among others.

The order also bans “all outdoor burning of any combustible material is prohibited. A person violates this Order if he burns any combustible material or orders such burning by others. This Order does not prohibit cooking stoves fueled by "white gasoline" or outdoor cooking grills fueled by propane or natural gas. This Order does not prohibit outdoor cooking events that are continuously monitored or overseen by fire department personnel and equipment capable of extinguishing any fire that may result from such activities.”

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