County Proposes to Raise Property Taxes
The Commissioners’ Court of Lee County, in their Regular Meeting on Monday, August 22, 2011 voted to raise the Property Rate from $ 0.6030 per $ 100 valuation to $0.6459 per $100 valuation, an increase of about $0.0429 per $100 valuation, or an increase of slightly over 7%. This follows a rate reduction of $0.0078 or slightly more than 1% from the year before.
There were several reasons given for the need for the increase of about $330,000 in the proposed County Budget for next year. Among these are the increased costs of the Courthouse Repair Project, the increased costs associated with the new Law Enforcement Center, the increase in health and other insurance costs, as well as a reduction of over $32,000,000 in Property Valuation from last year.
Public Hearings on the Proposed Tax Rate are set for September 12 and September 19.
The Court agreed to keep the 8% rate for the Lee County’s Retirement Plan for 2012. The Commissioners heard some of the details of an Actuarial Report from Gabiiel, Roeder, Smith and Company. In this report, it was noted that, under the new Rules of Financial Reporting, a new liability of the County of $549,000 must be reported. This liability for supporting the current County Retirement Policy will also increase by a similar amount each year in the future, so that in only four years this would amount to over $ 2 Million, all as an obligation of the County’s.
The liability is only connected with Retired County Employees’ health and medical expenses. The County currently uses a ‘Pay-asyou go’ method to actually pay for these expenses. The Court agreed to revisit this in greater detail in the near future.