The Blanco County Commissioners conducted a special meeting at 10:30 am on Thursday, September 27, 2012. All four Commissioners were present, and the agenda for the meeting included several items for discussion and action.
The first order of business for the Commissioners Court was a vote to ratify the tax increase of $46,864.00 for fiscal year 2012-2013. Commissioner Granberg asked if this figure was on the low side for the countywide increase. County Judge Bill Guthrie answered that the tax increase for fiscal year 2012-2013 would come from new properties and in the changes of status of various other properties. According to Judge Guthrie, “many counties are operating in negative sides at this time…we are lucky.” Commissioner Paul Granberg made the motion to ratify the increase and the motion was seconded by Commissioner John Wood.
Judge Guthrie asked the Commissioners to consider the adoption of the Proposed Blanco County Budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. Commissioner Granberg asked the Judge to elaborate on the differences between accepting and adopting the budget. Judge Guthrie noted that accepting the budget included consideration of any budgetary changes, and adoption of the budget was the next action taken. County Commissioner James Sultemeier extended a motion to adopt the Proposed Blanco County Budget for 2012-2013, and Commissioner Chris Liesmann provided a second motion; the proposed budget was accepted.
Other items of business included voting to establish the County tax rate for fiscal year 2012-2013. The effective rate of $0.355600 includes $0.065200 for debt service. The motion to establish the tax rate for fiscal year 2012-2013 at $0.355600 was presented by Commissioner Liesmann, and Commissioner Granberg seconded the motion; the motion carried.
The homestead exemption for properties in Blanco County will remain at 1% of the appraised value with a minimum exemption of $5,000.00. After Judge Guthrie called for discussion of the matter of the homestead exemption Commissioner Wood proposed a motion to accept the homestead exemption, and Commissioner Sultemeier seconded.
The last item for consideration in the special meeting was to determine the discount schedule for early tax payments. The early discount schedule calls for 3% for payments received in October 2012; 2% for payments made in November 2012; and 1% for December 2012 payments. Judge Guthrie recommended leaving the current discount schedule unchanged. However, he noted that “this is getting harder and harder to do…we may eventually have to disband this practice.”
A discussion followed, and Judge Guthrie noted “the Blanco County school districts do not offer early discount payments, and I believe we are pretty much some of the only ones who still offer this discount.” Judge Guthrie went on to say there are pros and cons to offering the early discounts. According to Judge Guthrie, “the benefit is the early discounts enable the County to receive payments in October through December we would not otherwise receive. However, it is also costing us that amount of money.” Commissioner Granberg made a motion to accept the early discount payment schedule, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Wood.