Lubbock County commissioners defend tax increase for law enforcement

Published: Aug. 11, 2015 at 9:02 PM CDT|Updated: Feb. 9, 2016 at 10:33 PM CST
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County Commissioners approved a proposal to increase the property tax rate by nearly two cents on Monday.

We're told that the money will help fund the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, an adjustment for the district attorney's office and the cost of living adjustment.

Bubba Sedeno, Lubbock County Commissioner for Precinct 3, says he motioned for the increase at Monday's commissioner meeting.

"The Sheriff had an intelligence meeting with the commissioner's court, probably about a month and a half ago, talking about the influx of cartels, drugs and gang activity," Sedeno said.

He says Lubbock County Sheriff, Kelly Rowe, is needing help to crack down on the narcotic problem that is growing here in Lubbock County.

"We're going through budget, we needed to give to the Sheriff, what he needs and that will probably take a tax increase," Sedeno said.

The Precinct 3 county commissioner says he proposed a 1.97 cent increase on property tax. If passed, this would be the first in two years and the increase would generate a little over $3 million.

Without the tax increase, the county would collect almost $58 million. With the proposed tax increase the county will collect more than $60 million.

That's a 10.5 percent revenue increase over last year.

Here's how the funds would be distributed, according to the Lubbock County Auditor: $650,000 to a cost of living adjustment, $300,000 for an adjustment for the district attorney's office salaries, $1.5 million for LSO  and $3.6 million for the Law Enforcement Center.

Commissioner Sedeno says he believes this increase is needed for the residents here in Lubbock County.

"When I got this job, I didn't come here to be liked by anyone, I was here to do a job," Sedeno said. "And, if that meant a tax increase to protect the citizens of Lubbock County, I'm there 100 percent."

The Lubbock City Council will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss a proposed property tax for those who live in city limits.

We're told the proposed amount reflects a 1.342 cent increase, meaning if passed, the city will collect 7.7 percent more revenue.

The Lubbock County Commissioners will hold public hearings on the proposed tax increase on Aug. 20 and 24, both at 10:15 a.m. at the Lubbock County Commissioner's Court.

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