Shelby County Judge Harbison speaks at Tenaha Businessmen’s Club


Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison was the guest speaker at the February meeting of the Tenaha Businessmen’s Club on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Judge Harbison shared information on taxes and where the taxes go.

“I realize that most of your concerns probably involve the amount of taxes that most of you recently paid,” stated Judge Harbison. “Just remember that when you pay these taxes, the County’s portion is around 1/3 of the total. If you live within the City Limits of Tenaha, the County’s tax burden is 34%. If you do not live within the City Limits, the tax burden on the County is 38%.”

Judge Harbison then quoted the following figures on how the taxes are distributed: for those within the City Limits, City – 0.2213 = 11%; ISD – 1.16153 =

56%; County – 0.7027 = 34%, for a total of 2.09. For those living outside the City Limits, ISD – 1.16153 = 62%; and County – 0.727 = 38%, for a total of 1.86.

“The County pays for all the services and departments that are constitutionally required of them,” Judge Harbison stated, “in addition to, substantial funding is required to support the mandatory financial obligations imposed the State of Texas; and for this budget year, some of them include: $220,000  to support the appointment of attorneys in criminal cases; $30,000 to support the appointment of attorneys in Child Protective Services (CPS) cases; $50,000 to support and maintain state prisoners in county jails pending transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to the regulations imposed by the Texas Jail Standards Commission; $686,966 to fund the state-mandated County Indigent Health Care System; $129, 491 to fund Mental Health care, housing, and other related expenses;

“$84,560 to fund the State Judicial System; $35,000 to fund the cost of housing parole violators held by order of the State of Texas (blue warrants) in the County Jail awaiting transport to a state penitentiary; $230,000 to fund the operations of the Central/County Appraisal District which operates at the direction of the State of Texas to appraise all real property and certain personal property for purposes of assessing property taxes; $64,415 to support the services of Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Adult Probation) and the Juvenile Probation Department; $54,593 to provide support staff, office facilities, utilities, and equipment for locally-stationed Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers; and $55,000 to purchase right-of-way (ROW) for the state. These and other state mandatory services require approximately $1,585,025 from Shelby County property taxpayers and amount to approximately 1/5 of the county tax rate.”

Judge Harbison then urged listeners to contact Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, State Senator Robert Nichols, and State Representative Chris Paddie about School Funding. The state per-student funding in Texas was 17.5 % lower in 2018 than it was in 2008. This means that property taxpayers have to “pick up the tab.”

After a short business meeting, the meeting was adjourned.