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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.

I can hear it now

I can just hear it now. Every governmental entity in Fort Bend County will be touting the fact taxes won’t be increasing and how hard this task was because of growth, rising fuel costs etc.

So, taxpayers are then expected to fall on their knees in gratitude for the hard work everyone did to keep the budget down.

Take a close look at the budget—it will be up—probably way up.

Then, if you haven’t already, take a look at your property valuations.

Now clap real loud to show officials that you appreciate their cost saving efforts.

Tax penalty actually returned

Last week during an emergency session of commissioner’s court, Ruben Lopez finally got his $6,543.28 in penalties, interest and attorney fees returned by the county. That doesn’t happen often but it actually does happen.

Lopez purchased the Greatwood Golf Club a couple years ago and thought all the taxes on the property had been paid by the previous owner. They had not. So, he was socked with big penalties for the tax years 2005 and 2006. And, he paid the fees.

But he and Precinct 1 Commissioner Tom Stavinoha worked to find out the source of the problem. Lopez contended that he was unaware of the unpaid taxes and didn’t get a bill. That is the standard claim by many who come before the court and it is almost always denied by the taxing entities.

Stavinoha said there was indeed a mistake by the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District and the result was a mistake by the Fort Bend Tax Assessor-Collector.

“It took us about six months but we finally got it straightened out. George was starting to get mad, but last week we voted to return his money,” Stavinoha explained.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  August 13, 2008