Killeen-area taxpayers are about to see a big hit to their wallets.

Central Texans who live inside Killeen city limits pay taxes to the city, Killeen Independent School District and Central Texas College District, as well as to Bell County.

dmiller@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7543

(2) comments

Scot

I hope my second comment can also be posted:

So interesting to read one of this morning’s letters to the editor because it highlights one of the concerns I have with this CTC Board tax vote.

The letter, “Killeen reader thanks candidates who have chosen to run for office” by “Jimmy Towers, Kiileen, Texas” really should have been, “Jimmy Towers, Chair, Central Texas College Board of Trustees” if full transparency was important.
Undoubtedly, those that serve set themselves up for criticism and questions. That is the governance process.

Part of the duty of those that have chosen to serve is to have the courage and candor to answer questions asked of them.

When I asked Mr. Towers at the CTC tax hearing why it would not answer a twice-before asked question, “is this tax increase to pay for declining tuition outside of Texas?” he said he could not give an answer because of “Texas law.”
Incorrect, Texas Open Government law undoubtedly allows a factual response to an inquiry made at a meeting. I would think this even more appropriate at a tax hearing specifically for the question being raised – why are the tax rates going up?”

So just as the letter failed to meet full and best transparency, the CTC Board, under Mr. Tower’s leadership, has failed to provide a full and whole response as to why it is raising our taxes.

Scot

Excellent that the editor brings this topic front and center. But there are some differences that must be highlighted regarding this sentence, “But residents have a right to ask why they’re being asked to pay higher rates…”
Yes we do and each taxing entity has chosen to respond to those inquiries to different levels.
KISD has an open bond election and while the levels of voter participation was not high, the issue was well publicized and transparent. That increase will go through.
The city of Killeen was transparent and while its budget and tax increase process was a bit confusing, the city council actually discussed the tax increase and effects in open dialogue for voters to see after those same voters had a chance to ask why.
Now contrast this with Central Texas College, which undoubtedly is asking for the largest tax rate increase right now.
I asked one simple question at three CTC tax meetings, “Are you raising the tax rate and revenue to pay for declining tuition outside of Texas” since the College is a global business entity rather than simply a local community college.
I have yet to receive an answer to this. The taxpayers have yet to receive an answer to this.
“and it’s up to diligent taxpayers to make sure they live up to that responsibility.” No doubt but when the tax-raising board cannot even answer this simple question, one that the CTC Chancellor quoted in the KDH paper was the reason for the tax increase, it is troubling.
What makes it more troubling is the lack of transparency behind the CTC vote. Unlike Killeen and KISD, the CTC vote has failed to meet Texas Truth-in Taxation requirements. CTC had to restart the first August process because of not meeting public notification requirements. Only after I addressed the board for the 3rd time did it even post the mandated “Notice of Tax Revenue Increase” in the paper.
Why is this?
I am convinced more than ever that the reason is because the Chancellor does not want anybody peeking behind the curtain to ask why for two years, it has raised tax revenue from us. The Chancellor and board does not want clarity as to why it will raise not just over $780,000 from the increase rtax rte, but over $1,000,000 when increased appraisals are accounted for.
Address the reason “WHY” at the Tuesday CTC board vote!

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