'Crime Tax'; Capital Murder Trials Force 9.2 Percent Property Tax Rate Increase
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd said capital murder trials have essentially created a ‘crime tax’ forcing County Commissioners to increase the property tax rate two cents.
District Clerk Sheri Woodfin told Commissioners Tuesday morning there are 12 pending capital murder cases and four of those are death penalty cases. Texas counties by law operate and fund the criminal justice system including District courts. Capital murder cases are estimated to cost between $300,000 and $3 million each.
The Commissioner’s Court Tuesday morning held a public hearing on the fiscal year 2018 budget and tax rate before adopting both. Former City Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer was the only resident to speak at the public hearing. Farmer said, “I’m opposed to the tax hike because we don’t have the money. Please listen to your citizens, their backs are broken, three cents will absolutely break them.”
Judge Floyd last week proposed a .545 cent tax rate. Commissioners Tuesday adopted at .535 cent per $100 in property value for 2018.
“I move that the property tax rate be increased by the adoption of a tax rate of .53500 per $100 of value, composed of M&O rate of .47065 and I&S rate of .06435 which is effectively a 9.2 percent increase in the tax rate.” Floyd said. “This tax rate will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate. The tax rate will effectively be raised by 10.6 percent and will raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $45.21.”