By MARY RAINWATER
Anderson County commissioners heard a presentation on delinquent property tax collections, approved an increase in collection penalties and agreed to a contract with the collection firm during their regular meeting Monday.
Tax attorney Robert Meyers of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, PC presented the report to the court, telling commissioners that the county collects more taxes than are levied each year.
“That includes the delinquent taxes and fees that are collected each year,” Meyers said. “At the end of 2011, the county collected about 97 percent of the tax levy and in 2010, 98 percent of the levy was collected.”
Meyers requested an increase in penalty costs, from 15 to 20 percent, to delinquent tax payers beginning with 2012 tax collections.
“The state now allows up to a 20 percent penalty,” he said. “With the money generated from those additional penalties, we want to add a third employee to the tax office to increase those collection efforts even more.”
Taxing entities do not pay any money to the collection firm, but the firm receives payment directly from the tax payer through their fees.
Commissioners approved the penalty increase and, in a separate, related action, OK’d a three-year contract between the county and McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, PC for the collection of delinquent property taxes.
Also on Monday, the court:
• APPROVED budget amendments, bills and utility crossing county roads.
• APPROVED a resolution from the District Attorney’s Office regarding the Crime Victim Coordinator and Liaison Grant (VCLG).
• APPROVED a tax abatement contract between Anderson County and Sanderson Farms Inc. for the value of improvements to be placed on property in the established reinvestment zone for the purpose of operating a Sanderson Farms Inc. hatchery.
• APPROVED a 5-year maintenance contract renewal with Otis Elevator Company for a cost of $6,830 per year.
• AWARDED Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) to Burns Roofing and Remodeling (Plano); Wiginton, Hooker Jeffry Architects (Plano); and RoofTech (Fort Worth) for the Anderson County Jail roof.
• HEARD the reading of a proclamation by a representative of Adult Protective Services declaring May as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
• APPROVED transferring an equipment attachment from Precinct 1 Road and Bridge Department inventory to Precinct 2 Road and Bridge Department inventory.
• APPROVED taking different pieces of equipment for viewing to Washington Early Childhood Development for Pre-K and Kindergarten students.
• APPROVED the removal of cattle guards on Anderson County Road 4651. A petition of area residents calling for the action (or for proper installation of the cattle guards) was submitted to commissioners.
• APPROVED a resolution to participate with Texas Department of Transportation in the Off-System Bridge Program for a bridge on Anderson County Road 2418 (in Precinct 4).
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.