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Tax Increases Approved in Lubbock County

For many of us in Texas, the mechanism by which property taxes actually change may be a bit of a mystery. We know that sometimes they go up and occasionally they go down. But why? And what do they actually pay for?

It was recently reported that about 20 concerned citizens made their wishes known and acted the part of the squeaky wheel during a meeting of the Lubbock County Commissioners. Even so, the tax law change was approved unanimously by the commissioners.

The issues brought up by a few concerned citizens were those of tight household finances and the fact that even a small increase could make an impact. The commissioners response was basically that the increase was needed and it will amount to just $20.52 per year or $1.71 per month for a home in Lubbock County worth $100,000. The increase on the county's portion of the property tax is 1.7 percent.

The increase is primarily going toward law enforcement. Here is the breakdown:

  • $536,832 for seven new law enforcement positions including one animal patrol officer, an investigator and seven new vehicles
  • $200,000 for the Criminal District Attorney's Office to keep salaries competitive

The sheriff's office did not get everything it was looking for, nor did other departments. The original request from all departments combined would have put the county budget at $82 million. It was finalized a $78 million.

When tax law changes go into effect, they are often automatic. For those who question their tax assessment or various tax bills, it may be a good idea to consult with a tax professional that is up-to-date on Texas tax law changes.

Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, "Commissioners approve tax increase, 2013 Lubbock County budget," Adam D. Young, Sept. 10, 2012

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