Taxable value for Kaufman County up by over $1 billion

During last week’s meeting of the Kaufman County Commissioners Court, the commissioners approved the new certified tax roll for Kaufman County, which reveals an increase of $1 billion from 2018 in taxable value.

The certified tax roll from the market value appraised by the Kaufman County Appraisal District earlier this year is $14,829,750,527, which comes out to $10,291,319,277 in taxable value. This marks an increase of over $1 billion in taxable value from last year thanks in large part to the significant increases in property valuations administered by the appraisal district to many Kaufman County residents and businesses earlier this year.

County Judge Hal Richards noted this dramatic increase in taxable value, but said that a significant portion of it comes from new values from new properties.

“That’s a significant increase in taxable value,” Richards said. “Last I heard, $500 million of that increase was not just increasing existing value, it was new value. That’s good; it brings in more folks to spread the burden.”

The certified tax roll for Kaufman County Road and Bridge for 2019 listed a market value of $14,829,583,517 and a taxable value of $10,291,728,575.

The commissioners also approved an order introduced by precinct 3 commissioner Terry Barber regarding the placement of “No Thru Trucks” signs on County Road 304. Barber says that this is in response to the high volume of 18-wheelers traveling on county roads to reach Interstate 20 despite other available avenues.

“It’s a continuing problem that we’ve had over there,” Barber said. “Most of our roads that have access to Interstate 20 have been getting destroyed by 18-wheelers and they do have other routes they can take. We’ve already put signage up on several of them, but this is apparently one that we missed and we’ve had some recent damage done to it. So we’re going to at least put the signs up so the sheriff’s department can enforce something.”

Later the commissioners approved a variance for an issue at 10105 Buffalo Way in Forney, which lies in precinct 2. In this case, the landowner had hired a contractor to build an 8,000 square foot home on the property for the family’s in-laws, but was unaware of the county ordinance prohibiting piping two separate houses into a single septic unit. However, precinct 2 commissioner Skeet Phillips noted that there were other houses on the same street that hadn’t adhered to the ordinance either, so the commissioners unanimously voted to approve the variance.

“On this street half the houses have this already and there were never permitted, probably,” Phillips said. “So it’s natural for people to come in and do that. They don’t even think about it.”

During the meeting, Kaufman County Historical Commission Chairman Jim Davis was recognized for a state-level Distinguished Service Award that the commission received.

The commissioners also accepted a certificate of attendance for county treasurer Chuck Mohnkern for completion of five hours of instruction specific to the statutory requirements of the Texas Government Code of the Public Funds Investment Act and for completion of 20 hours of educational instruction during the 47th annual county treasurer’s continuing education seminar, approved the commissioners court meeting minutes for July 24, approved an amended order for disbursement of salaries and routine office expenses, approved the quarterly report for Development Services for April through June 2019, accepted the fire marshal’s monthly activity report, accepted the sheriff department’s monthly report, accepted the third quarter report for veterans services, approved permission to solicit vendors for the County Road 4070 bridge replacement and engineering services, approved the purchase of a Hino 268A dump truck for $84,191.85 from Rush Truck Center for precinct 1 and the purchase of a Komatsu motor grader for $211,123 from Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc. for precinct 1, approved the receipt transfer and disposal of county-owned assets, and approved line item transfers and claims for payment.

The commissioners entered into executive session to consider pending litigation subjects including Abner Farms’ final plat and litigation and enforcement issues, Brown vs. Robert Hawkins, Kaufman County vs. Purdue Pharma, Lassiter vs. Kaufman County Commissioners Court, possible county bond measures, and Winzer vs. Kaufman County. The commissioners took no action upon returning from executive session.

The commissioners also heard a brief presentation from George Williford and David Mendez discussing possible county bond measures, but were not yet ready to present anything specific. Should the commissioners choose to have a bond election this November, they have until August 19 to announce their intention.

Finally, the commissioners tabled an item regarding the Texas Transportation Code’s “Road Superintendent System” and related policies to the following commissioners court meeting.

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