WAXAHACHIE

Ellis County Commissioners are moving forward with the recommendation to keep the tax rate the same for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The proposed effective tax rate is $0.310872 per $100 valuation. County Judge Carol Bush made the recommendation to the court at its Tuesday morning meeting.

“I am really excited about the tax rate because we are not asking to increase the taxpayer's burden,” Bush said. “We anticipate funding the budget from the effective tax rate. I think that we are in good shape.”

Bush stated due to new property added it is going to generate $2.8 million more on the tax rolls this year. The effective rate is used to fund county operations.

Bush added with setting the ceiling at this effective rate that the commissioners "don’t anticipate any changes."

Commissioner Randy Stinson, Precinct 1, believes keeping the tax rate the same is a wise move and prudent.

“I think that it is a good rate. Right now I am still waiting on the transition. This could slow down at any time, this boom we are in,” Stinson said. “When you raise the tax, and you have a slowdown, it impacts your people worse.”

Commissioner Kyle Butler, Precinct 4, stated he thought it was the right decision to use current resources instead of asking for more.

“I think that the revenue that we drew is enough to where we can keep our tax base low to keep us conducting business instead of reaching out for more debt,” Butler said. “We are pretty good right now as far the rollover funds and the general fund. So if we have any large projects, we should be covered.”

The court will also move forward with the recommendation of a two percent cost of living adjustment for elected officials in the new budget.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at the historic courthouse at 101 W. Main Street in Waxahachie.

FREE TO BURN

David Bull, Deputy Fire Marshal, presented a recommendation to lift the burn band, which was enacted on July 3.

The fire marshal’s office uses the Keetch-Byram Drought Index ranges from zero to 800. A reading of zero represents no moisture depletion, and 800 represents entirely dry conditions.

“We lifted the burn ban today because it is about half of our standard that we use to implement the burn ban in the first place,” Bull said. “We implement a burn ban around 600. So today the average around the county is a little bit above 300.”

The commissioners took Bull’s recommendation and approved lifting the burn ban.

Bull advises, even with the ban lifted, residents still need to be careful went burning outdoors. The full rules for burning are on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s website at www.tceq.texas.gov.