For the third consecutive week, two Brazos County commissioners are absent when the agenda brings up next year’s proposed property tax rate.
Steve Aldrich and Russ Ford attended Tuesday morning’s meeting, which did not include the tax rate on the agenda.
That afternoon, they did not show for what county judge Duane Peters specifically set was a workshop that did not include a vote. The workshop was followed by a public hearing where a tax rate vote was scheduled.
During the workshop, Peters said of Aldrich and Ford that “it’s their responsibility and their job to come to the table and take a vote.”
Commissioner Irma Cauley said “I think that it is more irresponsible that they’ve asked for these meetings and not shown up.”
Commissioner Nancy Berry said “it is disrespectful to our citizens and their colleagues.”
The county judge’s chief of staff, Ed Bull, said his conversations with county employees “that there is concern”.
Aldrich and Ford support a four cent decrease in the tax rate, while Peters, Cauley, and Berry support a one cent decrease.
Another workshop that does not include a vote has been scheduled for Monday, September 26, at 1:30. The county judge previously said that they have until September 29 to set a rate to avoid it automatically going to the no-new revenue rate, which is a decrease of almost six cents.
If the no-new revenue rate is adopted, budget officer Katie Conner told commissioners that if they “choose to reduce positions, we will present those position by position as a budget amendment.”
State law requires at least four commissioners to be present for the tax rate vote. State law requires a minimum of three of the four or five who are present to approve a rate. If that does not happen, then state law designates a rate that does not increase revenue from the year before, which is known as the “no-new revenue rate”.
Click below for a sampling of comments from the September 20, 2022 Brazos County commission tax rate workshop meeting.