Brown County Judge Ray West said he has learned that the commissioners court did not have the authority to call an election on the issue of a county tax freeze for residents 65 and older and/or the disabled.
So, the issue is back on the agenda for Monday's 9 a.m. meeting as an action item.
Representatives of the Texas Silver Haired Legislature have asked commissioners to approve the tax freeze. West said he had relied on information given to him earlier indicating that there were three ways the tax freeze could be implemented: the commissioners court could approve it; commissioners could call an election; or commissioners could require a petition with at least 5 percent of the county's registered voters, which would require an election.
Commissioners voted unanimously on May 12 to call an election. But West said he learned later from Brown County Elections Administrator Suzy young that the constitutional amendment that allows for the tax freeze does not give commissioners the right to cll the election.
"We're going to have to do it again," West said.
When Texas Silver Haired Legislature representative Nanch Byler appeared before commissioners in April, she said Brown County could become the 74th Texas county to enact the property tax freeze for those over 65 and/or the disabled. As of March 25, taxes had also been frozen in 119 cities and 15 junior college districts, Byler told commissioners.
Brownwood and Early city officials indicated the issue will be addressed during this summer's budget process.
In an unrelated matter, Ross Bradley of Guardian EMS is on the agenda for the "consideration and possible approval of proposed contract assignment and extension to Allegiance Ambulance."