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Updated property tax information available

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PropertyTax graphicNew and updated property tax information has just been compiled by the Trinity County Appraisal District and is available now to assist taxpayers. This property tax information is current and covers a wide range of topics, such as taxpayer remedies, exemptions and appraisals, and has information for select groups, such as disabled veterans and persons age 65 or older. “Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, disabled veteran or taxpayer, it’s important you know your rights concerning the property tax laws.” said Mr. Gallant, Chief Appraiser.

“You can contact us about any property tax issues with full confidence that we will provide you the most complete, accurate and up-to-date information available to assist you.” This includes information about the following programs.

• Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans - The law provides partial exemptions for any property owned by disabled veterans or surviving spouses and surviving children of deceased disabled veterans. Another partial exemption is for homesteads donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations at no cost or not more than 50 percent of the good faith estimate of the homestead’s market value to disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.

The exemption amount is determined according to percentage of service-connected disability. The law also provides a 100 percent homestead exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans and their surviving spouses and surviving spouses of U.S. armed service members killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

• Property Tax Exemptions - Non-profit organizations that meet statutory requirements may seek property tax exemptions and must apply to their local appraisal district by a specific date. Businesses that receive tax abatements granted by taxing units; ship inventory out of Texas that may be eligible for the freeport exemption; store certain goods in transit in warehouses that are moved within 175 days; construct, install or acquire pollution control property; own and operate energy storage systems; convert landfill-generated gas; or store offshore drilling equipment while not in use may also be eligible for statutory exemptions.

•Rendering Taxable Property - If a business owns tangible personal property that is used to produce income, the business must file a rendition with its local appraisal district by a specified date. Personal property includes inventory and equipment used by a business. Owners do not have to render exempt property such as church property or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming

•Appraisal Notices - Normally, taxpayers receive a notice of appraised value from the appropriate local appraisal district. The city, county, school districts and other local taxing units use the appraisal district’s value to set property

taxes for the coming year . . • Property Taxpayer Remedies - This Comptroller publication explains in detail how to protest a property appraisal, what issues the county appraisal review board (ARB) can consider and what to expect during a protest hearing. The publication also discusses the option to request limited binding arbitration to compel the ARB or chief appraiser to comply with a procedural requirement and the options of taking a taxpayer’s case to district court, the State Office of Administrative Hearings or binding arbitration if the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the outcome of the ARB hearing.

• Homestead Exemptions - A homestead is generally defined as the home and land used as the owner’s principal

residence on Jan. 1 of the tax year. A homestead exemption reduces the appraised value of the home and, as a

result, lowers property taxes. Applications are submitted to the appropriate local appraisal distric

•Productivity Appraisal - Property owners who use land for timberland production, agricultural purposes or wildlife

management can be granted property tax relief on their land. They may apply to their local appraisal district for an

agricultural appraisal which may result in a lower appraisal of the land based on production, versus market value.

•Residence Homestead Tax Deferral - Texas homeowners may postpone paying the currently delinquent property

taxes due on the appreciating value of their homes by filing a tax deferral affidavit at their local county appraisal

district. This tax relief allows homeowners to pay the property taxes on 105 percent of the preceding year’s appraised

value of their homestead, plus the taxes on any new improvements to the homestead. The deferral postpones the

remaining taxes, with interest accruing at 8 percent per year but does not cancel them

• Property Tax Deferral for Persons Age 65 or Older Disabled or Disabled Veteran Homeowners - Texans who

are age 65 or older or disabled, as defined by law, or who qualify for a disabled veteran exemption may postpone

paying current and delinquent property taxes on their homes by signing a tax deferral affidavit. Once the affidavit is

on file, taxes are deferred, but not cancelled, as long as the owner continues to own and live in the home. Interest

continues to accrue at 5 percent per year on the unpaid taxes. You may obtain a deferral affidavit at the appraisal


•Notice of Availability of Electronic Communication - In appraisal districts located in counties with a population of

more than 200,000 or that have authorized electronic communications, and that have implemented a system that

allows such communications, chief appraisers and ARBs may communicate electronically through email or other

media with property owners or their designated representatives. Written agreements are required for notices and

other documents to be delivered electronically instead of mailing.

•Protesting Property Appraisal Values - Property owners who disagree with the appraisal district’s appraisal of

their property for local taxes or for any other action that adversely affects them may protest their property value to the

appraisal district’s ARB.

•Informal Meetings - Property can request an informal meeting with appraisal district staff to try and resolve their

disputes prior to attending ARB hearings.

For more information about these programs, contact the Trinity County Appraisal District at 123 S Main Groveton,

Texas 936-642-1502 or 103 W Caroline Trinity, Texas 75862.lnformation is also available on the Comptroller’s

Property Tax Assistance Division’s website at comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/.

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Payments to stay at current level

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Trinity Countyseal 200TCNS staff

GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court on Jan. 10 left mileage reimbursements at the level it has been for the last four years.

Commissioner Neal Smith, who chaired the meeting in the absence of County Judge Doug Page, said the county tries to keep its policies current with federal standards; County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy told commissioners the new standard was 58.8 cents per mile.

Currently, the county reimburses at 58 cents a mile.

Commissioner Mike Loftin said he felt it didn’t need to be changed, and moved to keep the rate the same, which was passed unanimously by the court. 

In other business, the county:

•discussed an ordinance passed by the city of Groveton requiring businesses and residences to post addresses according to 911 mapping requirements; and

•approved the cost of providing equipment for the recently purchased constable vehicles through CARES Act funds.

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Trinity talks trash trucks

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Trinity City SignBy Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — With an aging and mostly broke-down fleet of garbage trucks making service spotty, the Trinity City Council has opted to begin leasing new vehicles to solve its trash problems.

City Manager Steven Jones said that at the Jan. 10 meeting, council members approved leasing a 25-yard trash truck through Rush Trucking of San Antonio at a cost of $5,100 per month.

“On a four-year average, we were spending $4,300 a month on purchase and repairs of our fleet, which does not include tires and other regular maintenance,” Jones said. “(All that money) would get us three unreliable trucks.”

Currently, the city has two 20-yard trucks and one 25-yard truck. Of those, one of the smaller trucks needs an engine replacement and the larger truck has high mileage and trouble with loading. 

Leasing a new truck would be more reliable, and maintenance and breakdowns will be covered by warranty, Jones said. 

“Hopefully this will provide uninterrupted service,” he said. 

In a separate matter, the city discussed a sidewalk grant it has received, and that work is expected to start next month.

Given that work is expected to start in February, the city will start advertising for a contractor.

The grant is for $500,000 with a $75,000 match from the city. Plans include installing a new sidewalk on Railroad Street from Highway 94 to Brookshire Brothers, and well as widening the street to make it safer.

Jones said that if there are any affected water and sewer lines, they will be replaced as well.

In other business, the city:

•discussed an upgrade to the city’s camera system.

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Combination store to open in Trinity

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 family dollar tree logo

Special to the News-Times

TRINITY — Dollar Tree, Inc. recently announced it will construct a new Family Dollar and Dollar Tree “Combo” store in Trinity. 

The Company’s brand-new store format, which combines Family Dollar’s trusted brands with Dollar Tree’s thrilling offerings in seasonal, party and crafting, is scheduled to open on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 8735 FM 356.

The 10,178 square foot store will provide everyday low prices and a broad assortment of essential products on the Dollar Tree side, and the Family Dollar section of the store will offer frozen and refrigerated food, a large selection of pantry goods, beauty and health merchandise, household supplies, basic apparel, baby and toddler necessities, pet food, electronics, toys and home décor. 

With more than 4,000 Dollar Tree items, shoppers will discover new treasures every week, including balloons and party supplies, Hallmark greeting cards, seasonal decorations and holiday gifts, DIY crafting essentials, school necessities and much more.

“Shoppers often travel long distances to meet all of their shopping needs, but we are changing that,” said Kayleigh M. Painter, Dollar Tree’s Investor and Media Relations Manager. “Family Dollar and Dollar Tree are teaming up to provide the Trinity community with a brand new, close-to-home store experience that offers incredible value on everyday products, as well as the party essentials and seasonal items that Dollar Tree is best known for.”

To save even more, shoppers can instantly receive digital coupons through Family Dollar’s Smart Coupons program. To access the additional savings, download the Family Dollar mobile app or create an account online at www.FamilyDollar.com/smart-coupons. 

The Combo stores typically employ approximately 10 associates. To apply online, please visit www.FamilyDollar.com/careers.

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Board given super rating

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Groveton ISD logo 250By Tony Farkas

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GROVETON — After one semester in charge of the Groveton school district, Jim Dillard was given a good review by the Groveton School Board.

At the board’s regular meeting on Dec. 16, 2021, the board went over in closed session the work done since Dillard took over the position on Sept. 1, 2021.

Dillard said he received a good evaluation.

“This last semester has been challenging, but that’s part of the job,” he said. “I have a lot of important decisions to make, but the good news is I have good people that I work with, and people who sat in this chair before me did such a great job, I am in a good position.”

In other business, the board:

• discussed the district’’s FIRST rating, which was a perfect 100 and the district is in compliance;

• discussed student enrollment and absences due to COVID. The district enrollment is up, and growing each month;

• discussed status of ESSER grant funds;

• discussed policy updates from the Texas Association of School Boards.

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