Commissioners, Bates weigh in on tax rate increase

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Several Van Zandt County officials were given the opportunity to share their thoughts about the recent tax rate increase approved by the VZC Commissioners Court during an Oct. 9 meeting of the VZC Tea Party held at Edom City Limits.

The VZC Commissioners Court voted 4-1 on Sept. 12 to increase the county tax rate by three cents which is beyond the rollback rate.

A petition drive is currently underway in the county to attempt to get the VZC commissioners court to call for a tax rollback election in 2018.

Dr. Dwayne Collins, the founder and director of the VZC Tea Party, welcomed the crowd of around 60 to the meeting in Edom which exceeded two hours.

Collins introduced the VZC officials that were present including VZC Sheriff Dale Corbett, VZC Pct. 4 Commissioner Tim West, VZC Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Scott Shinn, VZC Pct. 2 JP Sandra Plaster, VZC Pct. 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr., VZC Pct. 3 Commissioner Keith Pearson and VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick.

West shared with the audience why the decision was reached by the VZC Commissioners Court to increase the tax rate by three cents.

“Every year in the summer, every county goes through a series of budget hearings and on July 31, the county judge has to file a budget with the state,” said West. “Unfortunately, at the end of July, there are a lot of numbers you don’t have a clue about at that point. That budget initially showed a positive amount of $42,000. Several large numbers began to come in that we had to address and modify the budget.”

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