Republicans vote to censure county officials
ELLIS COUNTY - A recent county tax increase voted by two commissioners and the county judge led the Ellis County Republican Party Executive Committee to censure officials during their Tuesday, Dec. 6 meeting at the Republican Party Headquarters in Waxahachie.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Bill Dodson R- Ennis, Precinct 3 Commissioner Heath Sims R-Waxahachie and County Judge Carol Bush R-Waxahachie, were all in favor of the approved tax increase passed on Monday, Sept. 26 during a scheduled meeting of the commissioner’s court.
A news release from Ellis County Human Services Diana Buckley after the meeting in September stated Dodson made a motion to approve the following tax increases as required:
“I move that the property tax rate be increased by the adoption of a tax rate of 0.413599, which is effectively a 3.72 percent increase (by which the proposed tax rate exceeds the effective tax rate) in the tax rate. This tax rate includes a General Maintenance and Operations tax rate of 0.380091 (consisting of an Interest and Sinking rate of 0.059754 and an Operations rate of 0.320337), and a Farm to Market tax rate of 0.033508. This will make the total tax rate 0.413599 per $100 of taxable value. This tax rate is necessary to support the budget adopted by the commissioners court on September 21, 2011 for FY 2011-2012, and is pursuant to Texas Local Government Code §81.006 and Texas Tax Code §26.05. The tax rate will effectively be raised by 3.72 percent (percent by which the tax rate exceeds the effective maintenance and operations rate) and it will raise taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $20.00, and on an average residential home by approximately $28.42.”
A second agenda item, as required by Local Government Code 111.008(c) ratified the property tax increase of two cents necessary to fund the Ellis County Budget FY 2011-12 adopted by the commissioners’ court on Wednesday, Sept.21.
According to the Ellis County Republicans, with this vote, these Republican elected officials have failed to live up to the standards of fiscal conservatism the Ellis County Republican Party strives to uphold.
The executive committee, comprised of the Ellis County Republican Party Chairman Dan Davis and all precinct chairmen, drafted a resolution which stated the tax increase “has the effect of diminishing the economic independence and liberty of families and small businesses.”
The committee charged the commissioners’ court with poor planning and being indifferent to the petitions of individuals and small groups regarding the proposed tax increase.
Committee members specifically resolved to censure the officials “for voting ‘Yes’ in approving a motion before the court, in the middle of one of the worst recessions in American history, to raise the Ellis County Property Tax Rate on this county’s citizens in excess of five percent.”