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Petitions for rollback election considered valid - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Petitions for rollback election considered valid

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BOWIE COUNTY, Tx. (KTBS) -

The debate over Bowie County taxes will soon go before voters. 

Residents will be heading to the polls this Spring to vote in a tax-rollback election. 

While some officials believe it will help residents, others are certain it will hurt the county financially.

Petitions with more than 6,000 taxpayer signatures are considered valid. 

The Bowie County Committee to lower taxes only needed 4,000 valid signatures to initiate the election. 

Co-Chair Jeff Akin, who's also a candidate for Bowie County Judge, says this started last September when commissioners adopted a tax rate of about 36 cents. 

It's the same rate as the last fiscal year. 

But Akin says the tax rate approved by the commissioners exceeded the 8 percent rollback rate ceiling allowed by the state.  

Akin says through the rollback election taxpayers will have the opportunity to force the Bowie County Commissioners to lower their taxes.

"It will save taxpayers close to $5.5 million over a ten year period, that can be pretty significant," explained Akin. 

He says if the election is successful people who've paid property taxes at the current rate will be issued a refund. 

"It will also help with budgeting as well, because now you've said to the county were only going to go to this point with the budget and that's all were going," said Akin. 

 

If the election fails, the tax rate will remain the same.

 

Many of the commissioners have said they didn't vote to raise taxes and if a rollback tax election were to pass the county's budget and services would have to be cut and layoffs would be necessary. 

 

The next step is up to the Bowie County Commissioners Court to set the rollback election date. 

 

They're expected to discuss a possible date on Monday during their regularly scheduled meeting.

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