Smith County taxpayers will have three opportunities to discuss the county’s proposed budget and tax rate with county commissioners.
On Tuesday, the Smith County Commissioners Court approved a tax rate and set three public hearings leading up to the budget’s formal adoption.
Those meetings will be at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 9 and Aug. 16, in the Smith County Courthouse Annex building, 200 E. Ferguson St. An even meeting is set for 5:30 pm. Aug. 16, at the HUB Center, 304 E. Ferguson St.
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 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 Smith County 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 homeowner of the average-valued home will pay $24.37 more in county taxes next year, from $497.65 in 2016 home to $522.02 in 2017.
Just more than 3 cents of the county’s tax rate is dedicated to its debt - due to the expansion of the Smith County Jail. The homeowner of the average-valued home 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.
AT A GLANCE
Residents may offer feedback on the proposed Smith County budget and tax rate at three public hearings:
• 9:30 a.m. Aug. 9, Smith County Courthouse Annex Building, 200 E. Ferguson St.
• 9:30 a.m. Aug. 16, Smith County Courthouse Annex Building, 200 E. Ferguson St.
• 5:30 p.m. Aug. 16, HUB Center, 304 E. Ferguson St.