Commissioners adopt proposed tax rate prompting Nov. 2 election

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 7:36 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County residents took their arguments on the plan to raise property taxes to Commissioners Court on Monday. Their arguments were on whether their rates should go up to give Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office Deputies a pay raise.

On Monday the Lubbock County Commissioners Court adopted a proposed tax rate which is above the voter approval rate. Due to recent legislation, this means an automatic election on the tax increase.

Commissioners say this increase is for public safety; allocating this new revenue to the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office for incentive pay, raises and retention.

Sheriff Kelly Rowe says this would help combat the rate at which they’re losing employees.

”We’ve got to take steps to stem the attrition and loss we have been suffering because we can have highly qualified, well trained deputies and other staff leaving for other agencies for an immediate 25 percent pay increase,” said Sheriff Rowe.

According to the county, the current starting salary for deputies at the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office is 25 percent lower than the starting pay at other agencies. Because of this, the Sheriff says he’s seen a great loss in valuable members of his team.

This concerns one citizen who showed his support of the rate increase at the hearing by stating a salary increase at the Sheriff’s Office is crucial to public safety.

“We in Lubbock County need people to protect our children,” said the citizen. “That’s my biggest thing. I raise my kids here, my grandparents are from here, my whole family has lived in Lubbock County. I’m not a fan of raising taxes either, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to take care of the guys that take care of us.”

However, not all citizens were for the proposal. In fact, one woman asks the court to consider the fact that property appraisals have gone up this past year as well as population.

“You’re going to get more money, and this is double-dipping to me,” said the woman.

The court shows this tax increase would raise the average homeowner’s yearly payment by a little less than $70 a year. The typical home would cost $604 a year in property taxes.

You will get to vote on the rate increase Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

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