By MARY RAINWATER
Just as their county-level counterparts, the Palestine City Council approved a resolution to increase delinquent tax collection penalties during their regular meeting on Monday, also agreeing to a contract with the collection firm.
Tax attorney Robert Meyers of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, PC, who attended both county commissioners and city council meetings on Monday, presented a resolution to the council calling for a penalty increase from 15 percent to 20 percent for delinquent property tax payers.
“The rate has been 15 percent since 1987, and the state has recently increased that rate to 20 percent,” Meyers said. “We would use that money for additional staffing in the tax office.”
Taxing entities do not pay any money to the collection firm, Myers told the council, but the firm receives payments directly from the taxpayer through their fees.
The increased tax penalty is effective for delinquent 2012 tax payments and beyond.
The council approved the penalty increase and authorized the city manager to enter into a three-year contract for services with McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, PC.
Also on Monday, the council:
• RECOGNIZED the following firefighters for recent promotions: Dean McGinnis to Battalion Chief; Jeff Croft to Captain; Devin Jackson to Lieutenant; and Edward “Bumper” Clayton to Driver.
Recently hired firefighters Micah Betterton, Brad Connally, Brian Herbert, Clay Starling and David Traywick also were presented to the council.
• HEARD a proclamation recognizing May 18 as National Kids to Parks Day.
• HEARD Mayor and City Manager reports.
• APPROVED the appointment of Kurt Herrington to the Building and Standards Commission.
• APPROVED the Consent Agenda.
• APPROVED an ordinance adopting rules for on-site sewage facilities.
• APPROVED an ordinance approving a specific use permit to Cartmell Home to add an assisted living facility at 2212 W. Reagan St.
• APPROVED a subdivision replat of residential zoned property located at 316 Lowe St., being Lots 12 and 13, Block 5 of the Murchison and McDonald Subdivision, which will create one single lot designated at Lot 12-R.
• APPROVED the annual audit for Fiscal Year 2011-12.
• APPROVED ordinances amending ordinances 0-06-10, 0-07-10 and 0-08-10 Debt Modification of Palestine Mall.
• ADOPTED procedures for post-issuance compliance.
• APPROVED a resolution approving a tax abatement agreement between the City of Palestine and Sanderson Farms, Inc. for the value of improvements to be placed on property within the extra territorial jurisdiction of Palestine for the purpose of operating a poultry processing facility.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org