Wilson County News September 28, 2011 2,498 views 8 comments
FLORESVILLE (Videos below) -- City officials here continue to defend the legality of a property-tax notice that was printed in the Sept. 7 and 14 editions of the Wilson County News.
Not only were the names of the councilmen who voted on the proposed rate omitted, but the tax rate depicted on the notice did not match the proposed rate of 32.27 cents per $100 of assessed property value. (See “Floresville tax notice prompts legal questions,” Sept. 21 Wilson County News.)
During the second public hearing Sept. 19 on the city’s proposed property-tax rate, Floresville Constituent Liaison Sherry Pollok said she spoke with Connie Rose of the state comptroller’s office. Pollok said Rose informed the city that the notice was correct.
“Everything we have done has been reviewed multiple times by the comptroller,” Pollok said.
According to comptroller’s office spokesman R.J. DeSilva, however, such a conversation could not have occurred.
“We have no authority to provide legal advice or technical opinions on the tax,” he said. “There would have been no review or legal opinion done. [Rose] did speak with someone from the city.”
Local businessman Jim Miller wrote Rose and asked about the conversation. In an e-mail response Miller provided to the Wilson County News, she wrote, “I have not reviewed the city of Floresville’s calculations or notice regarding truth-in-taxation, nor have I said it was in compliance.”
Rose acknowledged a Sept. 14 conversation with Finance Director Fonda Kellner, in which she explained the requirements of the Occupations Code Chapter 1151.151, being registered as a tax assessor-collector, and quoted Tax Code sections from Chapter 26 that were relevant to the truth-in-taxation process.
“At no time did I say they were in compliance, correct or express any opinion about the city of Floresville’s calculations or notices,” Rose wrote. “I was told by Ms. Kellner that they would seek the advice of their attorney.”
Also during the meeting, Mayor Daniel Tejada and councilmen Johnnie R. Gomez, John W. Guerrero, Sherry Martinez Castillo, and Jesse Christopher Flores heard a presentation from auditor Pat Wagner of New Braunfels-based Holtman, Wagner & Co. Wagner said she reviewed the city’s streets-maintenance tax, from its adoption in 2004 to the present day. The tax revenue is derived from a quarter-cent sales tax applied to goods and services purchased within the Floresville city limits, similar to the quarter-cent tax that funds the Floresville 4A Corp., and the half-cent that funds the Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC).
“My understanding of the issue was that these reserves were not shown as ‘revenue’ in the current budget,” she said. “This is an indication of a misunderstanding of what a budget is. The city must budget current revenues and expenditures. These reserves are not current revenues -- they were revenues budgeted in prior years.”
While Wagner recommended that the city account for streets-maintenance tax proceeds separately from the general fund, she said this was not required, and that she determined the city has properly accounted for this money.
In other business, the council:
•Voted unanimously to adopt the FEDC’s fiscal-year 2012 budget of $838,169.
•Voted unanimously to adopt the 4A corporation’s $507,200 budget for the 2012 fiscal year.
Your Opinions and Comments
Connect the Dots Floresville October 3, 2011 8:57am
so then the state says they never approved or gave advice,totally washing their hands,CONSTITUENT LIASON, RESPONSIBLE FOR ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS CORRECTLY I PRESUME, is confused,incompetent,or misleading,so what does Ms. Kellner ... More ›
so then the state says they never approved or gave advice,totally washing their hands,CONSTITUENT LIASON, RESPONSIBLE FOR ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS CORRECTLY I PRESUME, is confused,incompetent,or misleading,so what does Ms. Kellner say about her conversation with the city attorney ? this is where the rubber meets the road, The city attorney is governed by his own code of ethics and must be truthful in their conversations, if one was had,certainly a billing invoice would accurately record the time and date of their conversation...Hope all the ducks are in a row? Was Ms. Kellner asked by the reporter what the city attorney advised her? Sounds like it is getting interesting !!!!!
The Marcelina Muse Dry Tank, TX September 29, 2011 11:12am
These people have a knack for evading proper disclosure and generally accepted accounting principles. They should quit this small town stuff and go to work for the Obama administration where their talents would be more appreciated.
Rabble Rouser Extraordinaire Adkins, TX September 29, 2011 10:53am
Now they try to bring the Comptroller's office into their lies. Glad the Comptroller's office stood up and called them to the table.
What new lies do y'all have for us now?
....and the house of cards begins to fall.