County lowers 2017 tax rate by 1.4 percent



Burnet County Commissioners Court officially decreased the ad valorem tax rate for the second fiscal year in a row.

Commissioners Court met on Tuesday, Aug. 23 and approved an effective tax rate for the 2017 fiscal year that is a 1.4 percent reduction compared to last year's rate.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley said the new rate, which is .3969 per $100 valuation, will amount to a $369.90 tax per year for a property valued at $100,000. For those residents whose property values didn't rise this year, the new tax will represent a 1.4 percent reduction in their county taxes.

The lower effective rate is the “culmination of rising property values in the county,” Oakley said. “It would have been a lot lower this year, but we had a lot more seniors qualify for the tax freeze.”

In 2015, the effective tax rate dropped by 2.7 percent, from .4140 to .4025, which the court adopted as the new, lower tax rate. In 2014 the court raised the tax rate 6 percent above the effective rate, Oakley said in July.

The county also had $121 million in new construction this year, but that won't factor into the effective tax rate until next fiscal year, he said.

“New construction does not get figured into the tax rate,” Oakley said. “It's not part of the equation for the effective rate.”

It will, however, figure into next year's effective rate as the improvements to these properties will be considered a rise in property values for the county.

“That's how we're able to pay for growth,” Oakley explains.

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