All three entities who assess taxes on Rockdale residents have now made public their proposed tax rates for the upcoming year and it's a classic case of "no news is good news" for taxpayers.
Rates aren't taking any big drops but then they're not taking any big jumps either.
In fact, assuming the City of Rockdale, Rockdale ISD and Milam County Commissioners Court adopt the rates being proposed to them, the new current combined tax rate will be $2.4535. That's down exactly one cent from the current $2.4635.
The one-cent drop is being proposed by Milam County where the budget being considered is based on a 61-cent tax rate. That compares to the current 62 cents.
In fact, this is the second straight year for the county to propose a one-cent drop in the rate.
The other two rates are forecast to stay exactly where they are.
Rockdale ISD's rate is pegged to remain at $1.2135 and that's despite some continuing uncertainties on funding at the state level. The trend of much less state funding, putting pressure on local school districts to hike taxes, certainly continues.
But this year the district has successfully trimmed, and re-trimmed, proposed expenditures and avoided a tax hike.
The City of Rockdale is also mulling a budget that does not include a tax increase. The 63-cent rate in the new budget is the current rate.
Now, taxable values went up and no one is pretending anything different. Certainly the addition of values at Luminant's Sandow 5 was a huge factor in keeping Milam County and the Rockdale ISD from having to increase rates.
Your individual tax bill this fall will be a reflection of how much your property values rose—or in some rare cases, fell—over the past year.
But those increases won't be because taxing entities raised their rates. And, this year, more than usual, they deserve our thanks.—M.B.