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Water district doubles exemptions

BY LEW VAIL
Enterprise staff
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ONALASKA – Tax exemptions for senior citizens and the disabled were doubled on Monday by the Polk County Fresh Water Supply District No. 2.

During the meeting, the PCFWSD board voted to increase the tax exemptions from $10,000 to $20,000 per year.

The board began looking at the possibility of increasing the tax exemptions for property owners who are disabled or over 65 years of age when they adopted their current tax rate. They requested a survey on what effect increasing the exemption would have on the district.

"Texas law does not allow a water district to freeze taxes like a school district," said Board Chairman Fred Alderman, who added that even when the tax rate remains unchanged, the tax burden can increase due to increased property values.

It is estimated that this increase in exemption will save PCFWDS taxpayers about $23,914 or more each year.

Financial advisor Bill Blitch was in Houston marketing two bond issues, but reported that the refunding of the 2002 bonds were sold Dec. 9 and after expenses and interest paid, the district realized about $230,231 income. Vice Chair J.R .Jones, remarked that "he would take that kind of profit every day."

The operations managers' report covered a litany of activity including a new grease trap that has been installed yo help separate heavy grease out of the mainstream going to the plants. The pumps in residences in section 5 of Impala Woods are nearing 15 years of age or more and since they were lower horse power, they are being replaced with more modern equipment. Several lateral lines have been extended or replaced both residential and commercial.

Office manager Loveearl Hodge reported that the district in October and November collected a total of $9,718.02 in delinquent accounts. Taking legal action on some arrears has brought customers in wanting to make payment plans. A total of 12 customers were disconnected for not responding to collection efforts. In the two-month period five new connections were made, seven permits issued and, at the end of November, active users totaled 2,207 with 132 commercial accounts.

Two tracts of land in Twin Harbors were on the tax forfeiture listing, TI200035400 and TI200023600. Both bids were above the minimum and the board accepted them. Minutes for the October and November meetings were approved and financial and voucher reports for November were reviewed and approved for payment.

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