Hays County Commissioners Court Approves 2017 Tax Ceiling for Age 65-plus and Disabled Residents

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Beginning in 2017, taxpayers in Hays County who are 65 years old or older, or who are disabled, will have the benefit of having their County-only taxes capped for their homestead.

The Commissioners Court’s action Tuesday applies only to taxes levied by Hays County government and does not include taxes levied by cities, school districts, emergency services and special districts, etc. In many cases, those taxes make up the bulk of each resident’s annual taxes.

“I think our County Commissioners Court and previous Courts truly understand and want to continue to do all we can to minimize the impact of taxes on all our citizens,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said, pointing out that the recent tax rate approved by the Commissioners Court for 2017 is lower than 20 years ago.

The ceiling is permanent and cannot be revoked by future Commissioners Courts; however, if improvements such as adding a room or swimming pool are made to a homestead residence, the tax could increase.

“I agree with the concept of what we’re doing, but it gives me pause that we can’t revoke it. Our older population may grow due to our medical facilities,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, who voted against the measure “reluctantly,” citing concerns that young families may have to pick up more of a tax burden.

“You don’t have the flexibility of income you had when you were younger,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant said. Those who receive the exemption would have some stability for their financial planning, he said.

If a person who qualifies for the exemption sells his or her homestead and purchases another in the county, he or she can receive a tax ceiling certificate for the new homestead. If the age 65 or older homeowner dies, the surviving spouse may continue to receive the local option exemption if the surviving spouse is age 55 or older at the time of death, lives in and owns the home and applies for the exemption, and does not remarry.

“This will benefit the most people and keep our senior citizens and disabled citizens from bearing the full burden of taxation,” County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., said.

“It’s one of the only tools we have that we can use to put a permanent restriction on local government taxes,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley. He went on to state that “It seems like the right thing to do … we want to give retirees and disabled a sense of certainty and stabilization at that stage of their lives.”

A disabled person must meet the definition of disabled for the purpose of receiving disability insurance benefits under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act. A person who qualifies as both age 65 or older and disabled does not qualify for both, but must choose which exemption to claim.

Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Caraway reminds persons that there is no need to pay any company to apply for your tax ceiling, it is easily taken care of free of charge by filling out a property tax exemption form which should be filed with the Hays Central Appraisal District, www.hayscad.com or 512-268-2522. The Texas Constitution, Article 8, Section 1-b(h) gives taxing entities the authority to offer the exemption.

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Mayor’s Corner – February 2016

Happy Presidents Day to the City of Uhland.

I would like to invite everyone to all of the City of Uhland meetings.

Your City is a diamond in the rough and we look forward to creating a thriving community.

  • Update on Funds to repair and mitigate future impacts from flooding.
    • FEMA and the State of Texas is currently working on our request for funds
    • We have submitted a Grant request for additional funds to improve drainage.
    • We are preparing to repair the Cotton Gin road with current budget funds available to remove the hazard from the roadway.
  • Last night we approved a development plan for Cotton Gin Estates to be developed on the property at the corner of Cotton Gin road and Plum Creek rd.
  • There is a public hearing for the proposed changes March 16, 2015 and April 6, 2016 for voluntary annexation and zoning changes from agriculture to (PD) Planned Development.
    • Proposed Annexation of land at corner of Cotton Gin and Plum Creek requested by the developer.
    • Proposed zoning changes for same land at corner of Cotton Gin and Plum Creek.

I would like to reiterate my previous message about the exciting growth that is coming our way and the opportunities and challenges we will face in the coming years to support this growth.

  • We have requested a grant to assist is in the cost of creating a transportation plan which will outline the road improvements and additional roads needed to support the increase traffic we are sure to receive.
  • We continue to look for ways to increase city services like Waste water that will improve the quality of homes and development coming to the area.
    • Agreement with Walton to provide a connection the Waste Water plant they will build once they start the development of Caldwell Ranch.
  • New grant is being processed to upgrade the water line on Cotton Gin East of Plum Creek Rd.

Thank you for your time and support.

Mayor Bryan Geiger

 

Hays County Sherriff’s Office “The Year in Review 2015”

On behalf of Sheriff Gary Cutler…

Dear Hays County,

You will find the Hays County Sheriff’s Office publication, “The Year in Review 2015” attached. This booklet is paid for exclusively by drug forfeiture funds awarded to the agency from criminal case investigations.

Please take a moment to review the accomplishments of your Sheriff’s Office for the past year. Please forward it to your neighbors, family and friends. You can also find it digitally on the Sheriff’s Office home page at: https://www.co.hays.tx.us/sheriff.aspx and Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you with your comments, suggestions, etc.