County hearing on tax rate draws no public comments

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No members of the public came forward to comment on the proposed Gregg County tax rate at a commissioner’s court meeting Monday morning, according to Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.

The court set aside time for public hearings August 27 at 10 a.m. and again next Tuesday, September 4 at 9 a.m. The court is required to hold these hearings before officially adopting the proposed budget and tax rate so the public has a chance to learn of changes to either.

The proposed tax rate for the 2018-2019 fiscal year is $0.2625, unchanged from the previous year. The court will vote to adopt the tax rate at a regular meeting of the Commissioners’ Court on Monday, September 10 at 10 a.m. on the third floor of the courthouse on 101 E Methvin St. in Longview.

The scheduling of these hearings was a point of contention between District 2 Commissioner Darryl Primo and Judge Stoudt. At an August 13 board meeting, Primo proposed the meetings be scheduled later in the day, around 6 p.m., to allow more of the public to attend the hearings. He also questioned scheduling a hearing on a Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Stoudt countered hearings had been scheduled in this way for years and members of the public had always found a way to attend if they so desired. The court decided to keep the schedule unchanged.

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