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(Metro Creative Graphics)

Smith County officials are proposing setting the tax rate at 34.5 cents per $100 of property valuation.

The Smith County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 on Tuesday to formally propose the rate ahead of public hearings on the matter.

While the proposed rate, which is up from 33.7311 cents per $100 of property valuation, has been discussed for weeks, this is the beginning of a formal process that will include public hearings before the Commissioners Court can officially adopt the property tax rate.

The proposed tax rate would amount to a $345 bill on a $100,000 house, up from about $337 the previous year, or about $518 on a $150,000 house, up from about $506 the previous year.

Those estimates do not include any exemptions that Smith County taxpayers may be eligible to claim, or for any increase property owners may have seen in their appraisal values over the past year.

The corresponding budget is due to the county clerk on Wednesday. There will be public hearings on the tax rate at the 9:30 a.m. Commissioners Court meetings Aug. 6 and 13 in the Smith County Courthouse Annex, 200 E. Ferguson St.

Many of the items in the budget are expected to be the similar to a draft working budget that County Judge Nathaniel Moran presented on June 18. However, he said some numbers have increased, such as one related to state-funded road projects.

The sole dissenting vote on Tuesday was Commissioner Terry Phillips. He has said the county can balance its budget without raising the tax rate.

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@_erinmansfield

Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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