A special called meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners Court adjourned almost as soon as it conveniened Tuesday afternoon.

The meeting was the first of two public hearings to receive public comments on the proposed 2013-2014 county property tax rate.

In the absence of Judge Carol Bush, Pct. 4 Commissioner Ron Brown announced there was a quorum with all four commissioners present and called the meeting to order.

After recessing the regular session and convening into the public hearing, Brown called for public comments on the proposed tax rate. With no one taking the podium, Brown recessed the public hearing and reconvened the regular session.

No other items were on the afternoon’s agenda for discussion or action.

Brown called for comments from the commissioners. With no comments from the commissioners, Brown called to adjourn the meeting.

The public hearing was the first of two hearing required of the commission. The second public hearing will be held during a second called meting on Sept. 16.

Final action will be taken to approve the county tax rate at the commissioners regular scheduled meeting on Monday, Sept. 23.

County Auditor Mike Navarro said the proposed tax rate of $0.413599 is the same as last year. However, county property owners will experience an increase in their taxes due to an increase in values.

Navarro gave an example that last year the average homestead was valued at $136,919. “This year, the average is $137,796,” Navarro said.

Based on the average value, the 2012-2013 county taxes were $567.47.  

“The value increase will raise the county tax to $569.92 for the 2013-2014 budget year,” Navarro explained.

Providing approval by the commissioners, the tax rate will become effective at the beginning of the new budget year on Oct. 1.

Navarro and the commissioners are in the process of finalizing the county budget.

“We should have the budget ready and posted on the county website by next Tuesday (Sept. 17),” Navarro said.