RANGER — Following the statement earlier this month by former Texas Secretary of State General Counsel, Trey Trainor, the Ranger College board made official Monday night that the tax rate for any of the three counties that choose to become part of the Ranger taxing district will be the previously stated $.11 per $100 valuation, Ranger College said in a press release.
    “State law already determined that Brown, Comanche and Erath Counties are part of the Ranger College Service Area,” said Ranger College Board Chairman Jackie Stephens. “But to become full voting partners, with the ability to make decisions regarding funding, taxation and staffing, state law requires voters to choose to join the district through annexation. The board has been consistent in our support of having one tax rate of 11 cents should any of the three counties decide to join the district.”
    Any attempt to raise the tax rate by the Ranger College Board, which, at that time would include members from whichever county voted to join the taxing district, would be capped at 2.99 percent. To increase more than the previously stated amount, Ranger College would have to hold public hearings and any increase of more than 7.99 percent would be subject to a rollback election by the voters.
     The maximum tax rate allowed by the state is $.50 per $100 valuation, if the board of regents decided to raise the rate the maximum allowed by state law, it would take 20 years to reach the above amount.
    “There has been a great deal of misinformation about the tax rate,” Ranger College board member Sandi Herod said. “State law required the ballot to list the current rate of 43 cents, which is the rate levied in the territory of Ranger ISD.”
    “This includes the 22 cent maintenance rate, which by the way is 2 cents less than we had 10 years ago. The 21 cent rate, was added this year after the voters approved a $10 million capital improvement bond election last year. But the 11 cent rate and exemptions would apply to any of the new counties of Brown, Comanche or Erath, as well as Ranger Independent School District, should any of the new counties vote to be annexed into the district.”
In addition to making the tax rate official, the board approved a number of exemptions for potential new residents of the taxing district.
“After the required public hearings, we were encouraged by the public to also allow for some type of exemptions for homeowners, seniors and those with a disability,” Stephens said.
The Board resolution states the proposed exemptions would be:
•    Maximum Homestead exemption allowed by state law
•    $10,000 Over 65 or
•    $10,000 Disability (with verification)
•    Freeze for those 65 and older.