County to set tax rate schedule on Tuesday


Smith County Commissioners will discuss its tax rate on Tuesday.

The county is proposing the same tax rate as this year at 33 cents per $100 property valuation, which will be a tax increase to most homeowners due to increasing property values.

The county will discuss its rate and set two public hearings on Tuesday. The meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Smith County Courthouse Annex building, 200 E. Ferguson St. in downtown Tyler.

The rate is above the effective rate of 32.6915 cents per $100 property valuation. The effective rate is the tax rate the county would have to charge to receive the same amount of money as the previous year. Charging residents more than that rate is considered a tax increase.

The average home value increased 4.9 percent, or $7,386, for 2017 - from $150,802 in 2016 to $158,188 next fiscal year, according to information provided by the Smith County Appraisal District.

The average homeowner will pay $24.37 more in county taxes next year, from $497.65 in 2016 to $522.02 in 2017.

Just over 3 cents of the county's tax rate is dedicated to its debt - the expansion of the Smith County Jail. The average homeowner will pay $51.68 next year toward that.

The county will pay $4.3 million in combined principal and interest on that note, and will owe $22.1 million at the end of 2017. That note is on track to be paid off in 2022.

In other business:

Commissioners will consider approving the annual operating budget for the Smith County 911 Emergency Communications District.

They will also consider approving a series of grants. Those include federal funds for a Public Transportation Master Grant Agreement, for an auto theft taskforce, and an Emergency Management Performance Grant.

The governing body will also consider donating surplus dispatch consoles to Liberty County.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph will attend the meeting. For updates as they happen, follow @TMTFaith on Twitter.


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Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.