Judge Parrish: Lubbock County planning for growth with increased revenue
Property tax payments are likely going up next year.
At the county level, commissioners want to set the tax rate the same as last year. This generates more money for the county because of increased appraisal values. County Judge Curtis Parrish said combining this with more properties on the rolls is a plan for the future.
"We are in a growth period in Lubbock County, which is a blessing. Some of my cohorts from around the state are not experiencing this kind of growth and they're having to make decisions about cutting, and cutting services. Here in Lubbock County we're trying to make sure that our services meet the growing needs of our county," he said.
For a $150,000 home that sees the average five percent appraisal increase, the property tax bill to the county would increase $13 for the year.
The proposed property tax rate is a little less than a cent above the effective rate. The effective rate shows what would generate about the same revenue from properties on the appraisal rolls last year and this year. It does not include the additional growth revenue Parrish referenced, from new properties. And property taxes are not the only income source increasing; the comptroller has reported steady sales tax increases for Lubbock.
One of the goals for future growth is the detention center.
There were nearly 1,400 people in jail Monday morning. Its maximum capacity is 1,520. In just a few years, the county will have to pay out for a new cluster of cell pods. Parrish said the county hopes to start saving for that this year.
"When we build this facility 15 years ago it did meet the needs of the county. And we knew it was going to meet as was built for the next 15 to 20 years. Well now we're up to that 15, 20 year period," he said. "And so now it's time for us to look again as we do grow, as we're a growing county our detention center needs are also growing. And so we've got to make sure that we have an adequate facility to meet that growth as well."
Public hearings on the budge and tax rate are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 26, at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the commissioners courtroom.
The final vote is Sept. 9.
As we reported Tuesday, Lubbock city council gave preliminary approval to set the tax rate one cent higher than last year, four percent above the effective rate.