Sunday, November 27, 1994

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 27, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas People 1B 1A little off the top please Barber shops are still the place Downtown Assoc plans annual tree lighting ceremony Weather Sunday becoming part ly cloudy breezy and turning colder with a 20 percent chance of showers or thunder storms High in the mid 705 with temperatures lowering into the 50s Lisa Weltzer takes aim at national championship 8A COUNTDOWN 115 DAYS New Braunfels Sesquicentennial March March Inside Letters to the Sports The Stammtisch Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeitung The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung extends the following birthday wishes to Barbara Elle bracht Evelyn Jonas Raul Ros ales 4 Melissa Davila Dennis Hermes Frances M Resales Jesus Bubba Hernandez III Lucy Garcia Judith Schmidt Hildegarde Slocum Annie Jones Alice Partida Margaret Tudyk John J Fahsl Albert G MacNaul Joe R Miller Mason K Blake Cheatham Parke Peterson Mon Gery Kok Jack Pennel Helen Ruh now John Thomp son Marie Tolar Freddie Buch Harrell Alice Haugen Pat Woods Janette Buchanan Robert Erdmann Lucille Fischbeck Freddy Fischer Lois Holmstrom Roger Jacob Mon Alice Janiceh Evline Johnson Bob Van Zandt Humber to Vega Pat Resales Rachel Resales Happy Anniver sary to Hilmar Norma Schwab 68 Millie Verdie Brown 46 Christmas craft fair set for Dec 3 A Christmas Craft Fair is planned for Saturday Dec 3 from 9 to 4 at Tree Tops Restaurant in New Braun fels The event is being sponsored by Freedom Fellowship Church in New Braunfels There will be special appear ances by the Spurs Coyote Iggy the Clown and music will be provided by True For more information call 6251288 United Way kudos Congratulations to the employ ees and corpo ration of TXI Industries under the lead ership of David Sansing they raised a total of for this years United Way campaign This represents a 23 increase over last years fundraising efforts with an average gift of with 100 participation The winning numbers Lotto Texas no 22 Eit million jackpot This newspaper Is printed on recycled newsprint New Braunfels Herald 42 Pages in three sections Sunday Nov SUNDAY Serving Comal County for more than 142 years Home of BARBARA ELLEBRACHT Vol 142 No 273 Delinquent tax totals on steady decline County still owed nearly in back taxes By ROGER CROTEAU City Editor They say nothing is certain except death and taxes and in Comal Coun ty its up to Gilbert T Bragg to make sure the part about property taxes stays true Bragg an attorney with McCreary Veselka Bragg and Allen an Austin law firm has the contract with Comal County to collect delinquent property taxes And by all accounts he is doing a good job In the four years I have been on the commissioners court we have had a very aggressive firm collecting for said County Judge Carter Casteel The amount of delinquent taxes has been dropping steadily Mr Bragg joked that he is working himself out of a job he wont have anything left to collect We end up collecting more than 100 percent of the taxes owed because of penalties and interest I am very pjeased with what they have done They have done everything they said they would and Braggs law firm gets 15 percent of the delinquent taxes it helps collect As of Nov 7 there was in delinquent property taxes owed to the county plus more than in penalties and interest This year they taxpayers in the county owe xxxx in property taxes to the county Already more than has been collected We dont have a lot of delinquent taxes and one reason we dont is that we have a very active delinquent tax attorney who mounts an aggres sive collection effort Since we start ed with this firm our delinquent tax rolls have shrunk dramatically In fact the past few years I have started bud geting less for delinquent taxes because the rolls are not as said County Auditor Bate Bond Last year the county tax levy was million More than 96 percent of that was collected leaving owed but more than that was collected in taxes owed from pre vious years making the total collec tion more than 100 percent Property tax bills were mailed ear lier this month and the taxes are due by Jan If you have not paid your bill by Feb 1 that tax owed gets a six percent penalty tacked on plus one percent Hot under the hood N6W Braunfels Fire Fighters responded to a report of a car flre Friday afternoon at 2 near the Intersection of FM1044 and the 139 access road The car driven by Jennifer Campbell caught on flre but fire fighters were not able to determine th0 cause of the fire bv time There were injuries in connection with the flre interest The interest keeps piling up with an additional one percent added each month up to 12 percent Then an extra 15 percent penalty can be added You can see how fast that can add said Comal County Tax Assessor Collector Gloria Clennan Before long they can owe almost as much in penal ties and interest as the original Bragg said that when a person or business lets its tax become delinquent the county starts mailing notices to the person After three notices it gets turned over to Bragg who sends two more letters Then any lien holders are notified of the delinquent property tax That gets a lot of them in because if the taxes are not paid the lien holder will move to foreclose on the property to protect its investment They will foreclose before we do Bragg said If the taxes still are not paid Bragg files suit gaining the county the right to foreclose on the property If the county does foreclose the property is sold at auction on the courthouse steps If the county does not foreclose the lien is paid when the owner sells the property Clennan said the county has not foreclosed on a persons home since she has been in office I would be very reluctant to try to take a persons home she said However raw land investment property or the inventory of business es are more often fair game Not long ago the county seized and sold several travel trailers from Stahlmann RV sales near Solms Clen nan said When I came into office you could not believe the accounts on delinquent taxes There was just a big pile of them I said what are you doing about and I was told That is when we went to Clennan said Driver who hit Plaza Fountain could get sentence fine By TECLO Staff Writer The suspected drunk driver who drove his car into the Plaza Fountain three weeks ago will more than likely be sen tenced to 90 days in jail and fined Comal County Attorney Nathan Rheinlander said Tuesday Rheinlander said that is what the county usually fines those cited for DWI in their offense The driver Ausinite Gilbert Martinez had no record prior to the crash However Rheinlander said Martinez would have to pay restitution mostly to cover the citys insurance deductible on the damaged fountain if he is convicted The deductible was set at and city officials have received some donations to meet the financial demand Martinez 20 ran his car into the Plaza Fountain in Oct 31 destroying the recently refurbiihed municipal land mark He was charged with a DWI and causing property damage Martinez wai arraigned on Nov 3 and released on bond on Nov 4 The twentyyearold traveled north on Seguin St just after midnight when he came to the Main Plaza intersection According to police reports of the accident Martinez did stop or slow down but went straight through the intersection and into the center of the plaza crashing into the fountain breaking it into three large pieces and shattering the base Martinez was measured by police to have twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the wreck The maximum penalty for a first offense DWI is a fine and two years in jail There was one passenger riding in the car Martinez had borrowed The car was not insured and Martinez also did not have insurance Rheinlander will also seek for Martinez to perform com munity service in New Braunfels although he said Martinez could have that transferred to his home town of Austin Rheinlander alio said if Martinez is unable to get an attor ney and contest the chargei it could be several weeks before an outcome in the cm could be determined Hard times dot delinquent list By ROGER CROTEAU City Editor To talk to some of the people with the largest delinquent property tax bills in the county is to hear stories of hard times failed businesses and broken dreams Stone Creek Park along Interstate 35 in Schertz is typical As of Nov 7 Stone Creek owed more than in property tax es to the county That amount includes county school and other taxes the county collects The county collects taxes for the Comal Independent School District EMS rural fire districts and other taxing entities that do not col lect their own taxes but contract with the county We were in said Stone Creek owner Floyd McKee We are working out a payment plan We have finally come out of bankruptcy and we have most of our debts paid He said he and his wife opened the RV park to take advantage of the nearby Retama Race Track but Retama is three years behind sched ule in opening so the crowds of RVs they were expecting never materialized then investors includ ing a former Schertz mayor Roy Richards died and the bills started to pile up When Retama opens it will give us a huge influx of McK ee said In the meantime the inter est and penalties are eating us up We are still working out a deal with the county to set up a payment It has been a gutwrench ing thing My wife and I have not taken a salary in three Wendell owes in back property taxes The trouble started when he had a heart attack and closed his auto dealership which was located near the Smoke house on Highway 81 He has paid off all his debts except the note on the land and the property taxes he said He said he expects the property to be foreclosed on by the mortgage company that holds the note This has been going on for more than three years Everybody understands that something has to be done with the property and when it is sold the taxes will be Wen dell said Lake of the Hills a 250lot sub division near Spring Branch owes in back property taxes It was hit hard by the real estate col lapse of the mid80s Irene Schaeferkoeter said the property was in the family for many years and was subdivided but when the lots did not sell it was impossi ble to pay the taxes Schaeferkoeter an elderly wid ow said her income went down when her husband died and added that taxes have gone up 1 dont have the income but 1 domake monthly payments on these prop Tax AssessorCollector Gloria Clennan said Schaeferkoeter makes payments of a month The HeraldZeitung also attempt ed to reach Peter and Frances DcNunzio of Spring Branch who owe in property Frances DeNunzio declined to com ment For advertising or news information call Metro