BRYAN, Texas — Brazos county commissioners continued their discussion of next year’s property tax rates in Tuesday's regular meeting, several worried about the consequences of the continual stalemate.
Commissioners Nancy Berry, Irma Cauley and Judge Duane Peters have begun to resign to the possibility that commissioners Russ Ford and Steve Aldrich will not show up at the next few meetings, and that no new revenue property tax rate will be instated.
“I am in agreement that we will have to make some cuts, and some deep cuts," Cauley said at the meeting, addressing her two colleagues.
"But I do not think it would be in the best interest of Brazos County for us to cut a system analyst for our IT department.”
The three commissioners present at the general meeting discussed cuts they believe may need to be made regarding items in next year’s budget – particularly new jobs to be created.
They noted that as Aldrich and Ford continue to boycott these meetings, it is likely they will have to default to the no-new-revenue property tax rate.
Berry, Cauley, and Peters originally proposed a new rate that would raise taxes next year on a yearly average of $115 per resident ($0.483/$100), raising revenue by 15% (though technically this rate is 2% lower than last year's percentage).
These three commissioners continue to argue that a lack of new revenue would hurt the county next year.
“That will take a little over $12 million out of the budget as proposed," Peters told KRHD.
"So I think there will be things we’ll have to be looking at. How are we going to make that work?”
Judge Peters argued that with the no-new-revenue rate, no savings will be added to the county’s reserves this coming year.
KRHD spoke with Ford over the phone after he sat out of Tuesday's meeting.
He said he was able to watch the meeting online, and did not agree with the idea that the county will need to cut new jobs, particularly with his proposed tax rate - which he said is still above the no-new-revenue rate - insisting the county needs to learn to manage funds more efficiently without raising taxes each year.
“Every year for the last ten years the county has not spent all the money that they budgeted," Ford stated.
"And even with the no-new-revenue rate, it’s likely we’re going to have a surplus at the end of the year.”
As of now, commissioners have till October. 21 to vote on a new property tax rate.