New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 14, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
• Wed. April 17-tax free investing with Stan Cunningham
• Wed. April 24 - record keeping & getting involved
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• Wed. May I-Banking with Keith Daniels
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S.D. David, left, and Charles Bradberry discuss points of the meeting.
Local officials discuss
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Now Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Sunday, April 14,1985 3A
Clerk charged with records tampering
A deputy clerk in the county tax collector’s office was charged Thursday with tampering with government records with the intent to defraud.
Texas Ranger Ray Martinez had investigated the case and brought charges against Helen Juarez, 28, of 445 E. Camp. She was brought before Justice of the Peace Harold Krueger who set bond at 82,000. Juarez posted bond and was released from jail Thursday.
Juarez allegedly misapplied public funds for her own use in an amount greater than $750, which made it a felony, Martinez said.
The alleged incident happened in February, and the error was caught that day, Gloria Clennan, county tax collector, said.
“We have a system of checks and balances that work very well. We had controls in place that helped us find the error immediately. We check out on a daily basis, but she was not here
that day at check out time so her supervisor checked her out,” Clennan said.
“That’s when we found the discrepancy. But we waited until the next morning for her to come in, so we could straighten it out. The next morning she did not come in, so we went into her records and found the source of the error,” the tax collector explained.
Juarez had worked for the county for three years.
District Attorney Bill Schroeder said his office has been involved In the case for about a month.
“Ray Martinez was asked to investigate because he has some expertise in such cases. He has investigated many voting fraud allegations and other types of record tampering situations. We like to use him in a special investigator capacity sometimes, and that is what the Texas Rangers are known for,” Schroeder said.
using central tax office
By LILLIAN THOMAS Staff writer
A meeting of the minds happened Thursday: officials from the county, city and both school districts discussed possibly joining with intergovernmental contracts to collect taxes through one office.
School district representatives expressed the most worries that the contract would create a disaster.
‘We do not have a preconceived notion of how this will all work out. but we do feel that with the facts we have gathered, the idea of central collection of taxes might be a feasible one,” County Judge Fred Clark said. “And the savings to the taxpayers might be substantial.”
New Braunfels 1SD Superintendent Charles Bradberry’ pointed out that the reason the school districts were shying away from central collection was from the experience they had with the Central Appraisal District, which also had representatives at the meeting.
We remember when the Central Appraisal Districts were sold to us as a money .savings concept, and since their inception the cost for appraisal has doubled,” Bradberry' said.
Don Bedford, treasurer of the NBISD board of trustees, also pointed out that the appraisals under the CAD were less up-to-date that when they were under their own taxing office.
We used to appraise every year and now the CAD only does it every
third year,” Bedford said. “That is a loss of funding for us.”
Leroy Goodson, president of the Comal ISD board, pointed out that some of that extra cost in the appraisal district’s budget was the reappraisal of all property that was ordered by the Peveto Bill, and that cost cannot be figured < what it would have cost each entitiy to do their own re-appraisal.)
* After the CAD was created, the school districts still must maintain the tax appraisal people to audit the results of the CAD. This is the only means we have of appealing those values that we feel are lower than they should be.The CAD did not relieve us of the responsibility to vilify those appraisals.” Goodson explained.
Because part of the finance formula used by the state to fund schools since HB 72 has to do with a school districts total appraised value of property and their tax effort, a lot rides on the appraisal of property, CISD board president said.
“We don’t want to give up our last contact with the taxpayer We have no reason to think that central collection would lose money, but we don’t want to give up our local control,” Bradberry said, and Goodson agreed.
Clark said that perhaps comparing centralized appraisals and centralized collection would be like comparing apples and oranges.
“I would not argue with the concept of local control of appraisal, but
tax collection is purely an administrative function. It doesn’t take a lot of professional level workers. And by organizing under intergovernmental contracts, you could always get out of it if it wasn’t working to your benefit,” the county judge explained.
Mayor Barbara Tieken said that the city was only concerned about adjusting its taxing period.
“As long as we can continue to send out our billing at the same time, we have no problems with it. But changing out tax statement timetable would cost us lots of money,” Tieken said.
Goodson said ma in taming the different billing dates of each entity could distribute the workload more evenly, and though the extra mahouts would eliminate one of the savings from central collection, in the long run it might help the central collecting office be more efficient.
Clark suggested that a committee with representatives from every taxing entity in the county study the cost of tax collecting under the current system and then see what some of the savings would be for each under a centralized system.
“If we find that the savings are not sufficient to make the change then we do nothing, but I think we owe it to the taxpayers to look into this,” Clark said.
The school districts wanted to discuss it with their full boards of trustees before deciding.
Calendar of Events
City I ouncU-department beads workshop: budget requests, 7
p.m. Monday, City Hall council chambers.
National Parks Service: Rivers Oversight Committee meeting, 7 pm. Monday, Dittlinger Memorial Library meeting room.
Aru and Cultural Commission: 7 30 p.m. Monday, City Hall downstairs meeting room.
Comal County Appraisal
District: 7:30 p.m. Monday. 644 N. I Atop 337. Presentation of 1986 budget.
Planning and Zoning Commission: industrial zoning
workshop, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Qty Hall council chambers.
Comal ISO: board of trustees meeting, 7:30 p.m. Monday,
Comal Elementary School.
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