LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock County Commissioners Court on Monday will consider a property tax rate for the coming year.
The meeting agenda said commissioners will, “discuss, consider and/or take action to adopt the Lubbock County tax rate of $0.347720 per $100 of taxable value for the Tax year of 2022.”
The previous rate was $0.359990. So, if approved, the new rate will be 3.4 percent lower.
But the local home valuations are going up by an average 16 percent according to previous statements by the Lubbock Central Appraisal District. For many homeowners, it will be effectively a tax increase.
The “no new revenue” rate would be $0.324780, while the “voter approval rate ” (which used to be called the rollback rate) is identical to the proposed rate of $0.347720.
City officials also lowered their tax rate, but just like the county, the rate reduction will not be enough to save homeowners from higher tax appraisals.
County officials are planning a 5 percent pay raise for employees while also contending with a national inflation rate (annualized) of more than 9 percent in the most recent federal report.
“Your tax bill will go up if you have a higher valuation,” said County Judge Curtis Parrish. “The rate is actually lower than the rate we set last year. The rate last year was actually approved by the voters.”
The county went to a public vote for additional money in 2021 to fund pay raises at the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.
“The Commissioner’s Court has been working on this budget all summer long,” Parrish said. “The budget we have is a needs-based budget.”
“What we found is that the needs of the county changed dramatically because of inflation,” the judge added. “The cost of sending our deputies on patrol, gasoline, utilities, [and so on] increased. We’ve taken the growth of Lubbock County and just put that toward keeping the lights on.”
As just one example, Parrish said the cost of utilities will go up $900,000.
Commissioner Jason Corley said the property tax revenue (not total revenue), is nearly $85.15 million for the current year. The projected property tax collections in the coming year will be a little less than $96.8 million. Corley said the increase represents growth plus inflation (just more than 12 percent).
Sheriff’s deputies will take over more responsibilities from the Texas Department of Public Safety in traffic accidents, Corley said. Road and bridge costs will go up 30 percent, he said.
“In short, policy decisions made in Washington and crisis management costs in the state are driving tax rate and budget decisions at the local level,” Corley said. “Inflation, and shortages caused by COVID response decisions and consequences have led us to where we are today.”
The County Commissioners meet at 10:00 a.m. Monday on the fifth floor of the courthouse. At 10:15 a.m., the commissioners will hear public comments concerning the proposed tax rate.