TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Commissioner’s Court held it’s first public hearing on Tuesday on a proposed property tax increase.
Back in July, commissioners voted to consider raising the tax rate by three-quarters of a cent to 34.5 cents per $100 property valuation.
This proposal has been met with serious concerns, particularly from the conservative political action committee “Grassroots America, We The People.”
The group cites the comprehensive annual financial reports, saying they consistently show the county government carries millions of dollars in surplus over the reserve balance reported in budget documents.
“So we’re saying that they are actually taking in more money and holding it in reserve that’s far and above their reserve fund policy.”Joann Fleming, Grassroots America Executive Director
However, Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran says that the county has been dipping into its savings for years to pay ongoing expenses and it has to stop.
“We need to marry up recurring expenses with recurring revenues. And that I think is in line with a very conservative fiscal policy. We never want to get into a long term fiscal strategy of paying for ongoing recurring expenses out of savings account.”Nathaniel Moran
Of the 254 counties in Texas, Smith County has the 12th lowest tax rate.