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Brazos County officials vote to keep split pay option for property taxes

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 19:50:34-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Tx — After much debate and discussion with taxpayers, Commissioners Court of Brazos County have voted to rescind a decision they previously made to end split payment options for property taxes.

The split payment option for property taxes in Brazos County allows property owners a way to divide their taxes into two equal payments.

Last week, the Brazos County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to end the split payment option for property taxes after a Senate bill passed during the last legislative session requiring a mandatory election if local governments increase taxes over a 3.5 percent cap.

"That’s a huge chunk of money for people to have to come up," explains Brazos County Tax Assessor Kristeen Roe. "So, I think the courts thought process was if we tell people early enough they can go ahead and finish their payment for last year and they will have time to budget to come up with the payment in January."

Roe says doing away with the split payment option would have eliminated any taxpayers from possibly being blindsided come November, if in fact there is an election, and they miss the first split payment deadline.

“The first deadline for payment is November 30th. So if we waited after the election and everything to start the process and get the bills out there is no guarantee the bills will get out in time for people to participate in that split payment that have always budgeted for it,” explains Roe.

Last week's unanimous decision did not sit well with constituents over social media. Residents like Tony Watson believes this should not have been a discussion given the current climate.

"It's time right now to go lets take a breath and maybe we put this on hold," suggested Watson. "We need to be worrying about other people and our constituents and how they are going to survive what’s going on."

Through civil discourse, Brazos County Judge Duane Peters and the county commissioners have listened to the community and unanimously voted on rescinding the decision in hopes the community understands why it was brought up in the first place

"I am okay with us removing it as long as people understand that if there is an election for somebody who goes over the cap, they need to be aware that they need to check before the end of November to make sure they made the correct half pay. If they do that, there is no problem," says Judge Peters.