Orange County Commissioners this week approved a budget that will raise more property taxes than last year’s budget by $747,127. Of that $225,051 is tax revenue from new property added to the tax roll this year.

Commissioners approved a tax rate of .57075 per $100 valuation, or 4.94 percent over the effective tax rate of .54383. According to county estimates, taxes paid on the average home this year would be about $370.

According to a document from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ office, the effective tax rate “ … enables the public to evaluate the relationship between taxes for the preceding year and for the current year, based on a tax rate that would produce the same amount of taxes if applied to the sam properties taxes in both years.”
The vote called for budget and tax information to be listed on the county’s Web site,

Records damaged

District Clerk Vickie Edgerly told the court that many of her record books returned from where they were held after Hurricane Ike cannot be scanned by her office.

“We have tried every way we can to run … and these records cannot be imaged by the scanner,” she said. Her office has a high-powered flatbed scanner, she said. The pages are ragged and can’t be run through a collator system. They will have to be done one at a time, she said. She would place that matter as a future commissioners’ agenda item, she said.

“I’m hoping that on a wing and a prayer someone can find some grant money,” she said.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelly said he believed hurricane mitigation grants could pay for some repairs.

Also this week, commissioners approved Dr. Howard C. Williams as the local health authority for Orange County. Williams has served as health authority for many years but must be reapproved every two years.