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TipSheet: Travis County, 6.26.18

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

The Travis County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda here. The County Clerk’s Office hosts a copy at its website.

12. Consider and take appropriate action on Tax Year 2018 Central Health exemptions. (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: Per tradition, Central Health mirrors county policy when it comes to property tax exemptions. So when the Commissioners Court voted this spring to raise the amount of tax-free value for seniors and disabled residents from $80,000 to $85,500 in 2019, the health care district’s board of directors followed suit. Now it’s up to the court to sign off on that vote. Smart money says they probably will!

21. Consider and take appropriate action on the following related to the completion of the new Ronald Earle Building located at 416 West 11th Street, Austin, Texas: a. Approval of the Ronald Earle Building dedication plaque b. Request to set September 21, 2018, at 10 am as the date and time for the dedication ceremony of the new Ronald Earle Building (Commissioner Gómez)

Monitor’s Take: At long last, the county is nearly ready to cut the ribbon on the new headquarters for the District Attorney’s Office. Construction began back in 2015 after high drama on the dais nearly sank the plans entirely. Now, a full three years later, the court is positioned to approve the building’s official dedication plaque and set the date of the ceremony for Sept. 21.

25. Consider and take action on a comment letter to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan regarding the Volkswagen Environmental Settlement Mitigation Funds. (Commissioner Shea)

Monitor’s Take: In case you missed it, Volkswagen’s American subsidiary agreed to pay out a full $14.7 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by the federal government alleging that it had cheated on emissions testing. Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed the TCEQ to determine how to spend Texas’ $209 million slice of that pie, and the county has put together a draft letter outlining its requests of the agency. For starters, the letter asks that the Austin metro area (including Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays and Williamson counties) get 11.6 percent of the state’s cut. And if left unchanged by the court, the letter also suggests that the money be spent on public fleets.

42. Receive report on Tax Office operations, including: a. Personnel of the Motor Vehicle Division b. Status of satellite offices c. Implementation of new policies and procedures d. Outreach efforts (Judge Eckhardt)

Monitor’s Take: The agenda doesn’t include any backup material on this one, which creates a fun level of suspense ahead of what we assume is related to the arrest of several Tax Office employees and accomplices on fraud charges last month.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Travis County Commissioners Court: The legislative body for Travis County. It includes representatives from the four Travis County Precincts, as well as the County Judge. The County Judge serves as the chair of the Court.

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