Commissioners’ Court highlights
From the El Paso County PIO Aracely Lazcano, items on the tax rate, a giant park, and domestic partner benefits:
Court Accepts El Paso County and University Medical Center Tax Rate Proposal for FY 2009-2010
(El Paso, Texas) – In today’s meeting, the members of Commissioner’s Court accepted the effective and rollback tax calculations from the County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office for both the County and the University Medical Center of El Paso (Hospital District). The effective tax rate is a rate that raises about the same total revenue as last year on properties taxed in both years. The rollback rate is a calculated maximum rate allowed by law without voter approval.
The County of El Paso’s calculations are as follows:
Effective Tax Rate of $0.338258 per $100 assessed value and Rollback Tax Rate of $0.369379 per $100 assessed value. If the County of El Paso adopts a 2009 tax rate equal to the effective tax rate of $0.338258 per $100 of value, taxes would increase compared to 2008 taxes by $2,407.617. The County’s current tax rate is $0.342437 per $100 assessed value.
Additionally, the court accepted the effective and rollback tax calculations for the University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) as follows: Effective Tax Rate of $0.179405 per $100 assessed value and a Rollback Tax Rate of $0.189167 per $100 assessed value. If the University Medical Center of El Paso adopts a 2009 tax rate equal to the effective tax rate of $0.179405 per $100 of value, taxes would increase compared to 2008 taxes by $1,365,354. UMC’s current tax rate is $0.181504 per $100 assessed value.
If members of Commissioners’ Court propose to adopt a tax rate that exceeds the rollback rate or the effective tax rate, whichever rate is lower, they are required to hold two public hearing and publish newspaper ads before adopting a tax rate in accordance to Tax Code Section 26.05(d),
Last, but not least, the notices for the County of El Paso, University Medical Center of El Paso and the El Paso County Community College (EPCC) were approved for publication in both the El Paso Times and El Diario both with major circulation, which will run on or about the week of August 17, 2009 to inform El Paso citizenry about the tax rate calculations. These notices will also be available on the County’s website http://www.epcounty.com on or about the same date of publication in accordance with Texas Tax Code laws.
Court Approves Resolution in Support of Completion of Eco-Park on the U.S.- Mexico Border
Members of Commissioners Court adopted a resolution to encourage officials of both the United States and Mexican governments, state officials and the private sectors to persuade President Obama and President Calderon’s Administrations to establish an international commission. This commission will help promote the completion of an international park between Big Bend National Park in the United States and the protected areas of the states of Coahuila and Chihuahua across the border in Mexico.
The Resolution, sponsored by County Commissioner Pct. 2 Veronica Escobar, states that there is a renewed interest on the part of government officials in both countries that recognizes the need to preserve the ecology and environment of the entire area and promote tourism.
The Big Bend National Park in West Texas has been a region of high tourist interest since 1944. In early 1935, it was proposed that the region should be established as an international park and a monument to the friendship and good will that exists between the people of both countries.
The proposal was made by Senator Morris Shepherd of Texas, with support from both President Roosevelt and President Truman of the United States and President Manuel Avila Camacho of Mexico.
The Resolution which also called for the creation of an Eco-tourism committee in El Paso was approved in a 4 to 0 vote.
Health Benefits for Domestic Partners
The item to form an exploratory committee to provide health benefits to domestic partners was postponed for one week.
The item on today’s agenda, sponsored by the El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos, was intended to direct the Risk Pool Board and the Human Resources Department to form an exploratory committee composed of several county departments –including the County Attorney’s Office and the County Auditor’s Office-, and present different options to possible benefits to the court.