Tax Hike: The proposed tax rate is a seven cent increase

Tax Hike: The proposed tax rate is a seven cent increase

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Hold onto your wallets - there's going to be a tax hike. Wichita County Commissioners voted today on the proposed property tax rate for the next year's budget.

The proposed tax rate is a 7 cent increase. The current property tax rate is about 55 cents. Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom says they voted to advertise what the highest rate might be so they put in the roll back rate which is a little over 62 cents.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom says he doesn't anticipate the property tax rate will go up to the 62 cent rollback rate.

"What I am recommending in my budget will only be about 4 and a quarter to 4 and a half cent increase. But there are a few things that we didn't have the final figures on and we wanted that leeway."

He says that rollback rate is the highest they can go without facing a petition for an election.

"We voted to advertise what the highest rate it might be so we went ahead and put in the roll back rate which is a little over 62 cents to our current 55 cents."

He says if you're going to pay for the advertisement you should put it in the broadest sense so you don't have to go back and re-advertise. Judge Gossom says this budget was the one of the most difficult they have ever worked on.

"We have worked this budget harder than anytime I can remember. We always do a lot on them but this one we really went for it. Its just trying to get some expenses finalized because we are borrowing 8 million dollars to get new equipment and new software."

He says they are still working on the figures.

"The court can actually come back and say we think instead of 4 and a quarter cents you need to be at 5 cents to make the budget balance with out using an excessive amount of reserve funds."

Next steps include continuing to crunch numbers they will then publish the county judge's proposed budget. That will sit on file for 2 weeks and there will be two public hearings on the tax rate. The rate will be finalized September 19th.

The public hearings on the tax rate will be held at the Wichita County Courthouse Monday, September 12th at 6pm and Monday September 19th at 10am.

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