SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
ERATH COUNTY (October 13, 2017) – The Vote YES Ranger College Committee released screenshots of the Erath County Treasurer of the Citizens Against Ranger Taxation Annexation (CARTA) calling for landlords to send letters to tenants saying they will raise their rent $50 a month if the vote passes. The same post also appeared on Brown County opposition groups as well.
“This is outrageous on so many levels,” noted Justin Murphy, spokesman for the Vote YES Ranger College Political Action Committee. “They are telling landlords to charge $50 a month more in rent, when the actual increase would be an average $8 per month. So, they want the renter to pay $100 so the Landlord can pocket the other $500 and blame Ranger College for it.”
But they may also be breaking State law. It is against the law to offer inducements or penalties for people voting or how they vote.
“Our legal counsel is preparing letters asking the Attorney General of Texas to investigate if these threats of overcharging for rent violate state law. We are also asking the local District Attorney if these letters and threats of raising rent should the election pass constitute a violation under Texas Penal Code Chapter 36 relating to Bribery and coercion,” noted Vote YES Coordinator Gordon Warren. “If anyone received such a letter we are asking you to send us a copy of your letter so we can share with the proper law enforcement authorities.”
“Leaders of the group posted last week they acknowledge the tax rate will be $.11 per $100 valuation, making Ranger College the second lowest taxing entity in the county,” noted Erath County supporter Willie De Jong. “So, for some to pay $600 a year in additional property taxes means the house must be valued at more than $550,000. I don’t know many rent houses or individual apartments worth a half-million dollars.”
The group also reviewed Ms. Trussell’s claim her taxes would go up more than $1,200 if this passed. According to information obtained from the Erath County Appraisal District website, with her current deductions, she would pay $18.91 per month, less than $227 for the entire year. Based on data from the County Appraisal District, the following are the average home values in each county and the tax levy based on an $.11/$100 valuation, which is the proposed tax rate stated by the Ranger College Board of Trustees on September 25, 2017. The Board adopted a resolution also calling for exemptions for homestead, over 65, disabled and a property tax freeze for seniors. The numbers below do not include any exemptions.
County Ave. Home Value Annual Tax/Monthly
Brown $101,126 $111.24 / $9.27
Comanche $ 66,465 $ 73.11 / $6.09
Erath $114,623 $ 126.08 / $10.51
Combined Average $ 94,072 $103.48 / $8.62