VZC makes strides in the right direction

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I would like to thank the Van Zandt News for the opportunity to address the citizens of Van Zandt County. The purpose of my column is to provide you with a look at where we came from and a glimpse of where we are headed.

Since day one, I have stated how critical it is for the citizens of Van Zandt County to hold your elected officials accountable. This starts with me and should be the same for every elected official. I believe this is the only way to get our county heading in the right direction. 

Before we look at the county's position for 2017, let's remember where we started. When I was sworn in as your county judge on Aug. 4, 2014, our county was $8.7 million dollars in debt. I am pleased to report that after two years of great teamwork, our commissioners and county auditor have worked hard and have been good stewards of your tax dollars. Our county debt has been reduced by over $2.8 million to $5.9 million.

Not raising your county taxes has also been a top priority. The previous administration had raised taxes five out of the past six years prior to my coming into office. This represented a 36.6% increase to taxpayers. We haven’t had a tax increase in three years, and have held at .485847 per $100.00 valuation. 

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