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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 18, 2004, New Braunfels, Texas T WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2004 'rald-Zeitung SPORTS CROSS-COUNTY Canyon douses Smithson Valley Rangers in three as the Cougars volleyball team improves to 5-4 on the season. Page BA LIFE FOOD FOR FUEL With high school athletics gearing up, families adjust diets to fuel the competitors' extra activity. Page IB Sales tax revenues top SIM By Scott Mahon Staff Writer New Braunfels’ sales tax revenues hit a milestone in June as collections exceeded $1 million — 15.4 percent more than collected in June 2003. The city collected $1,081,893 from the state comptroller’s office Aug. 13, which represented June sales transactions. As of June 30, the city has collected $9,840,686 in sales tax revenues for fiscal year 2004 — 7 per Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. Vol. 153, No. 239 14 pages, 2 sections CLICK    50€ WWW, j e ”56825 00001    1 rain chance High Low 94 74 Details .... 1B DEAR ABBY 48 CLASSIFIEDS 448 COMICS 3B CROSSWORD 38 FORUM 4A OBITUARIES 3A SPORTS 6-8A TV GRIDS 38 SHOW ME THE MONEY - SALES TAX REVENUES cent more than the previous fiscal year, said Chief Finance Officer Jeff Hinson. “We were surprised at the June sales tax figures,” he said. “We certainly didn’t expect that much.” See TAX, Page 5A k New Braunfels Bulverde Garden Ridge Comal County Januarygii^^ $674,168 $27,034 $12,886 $267,655 February $660,408 $27,785 $15,815 $255,463 March $879,968 $33,838 $12,249 $372,742 April I $742,894 $32,731 $6,096 $293,548 May $826,533 $38,351 $17,521 $337,819 June $1,081,893 $34,716 $21,487 $445,607 Total $4,865,864 $194,455 $86,054 $1,972,834 (Sales tax revenues are remitted back to cities by the State Comptroller two months after revenues are collected, i.e. New Braunfels received $1,081893 from the State Comptroller in August for revenues collected in June and reported in July.) WITHOUT A HITCH NBISD taxpayers could see drop in next year’s tax rate By Leigh Jones Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District trustees put off adopting next year's tax rate until Sept. 13 because appraised property values came in higher than expected. Trustees now have the choice of setting the tax rate as advertised at $1,843 per $100 assessed valuation or lowering the rate to give taxpayers a break. The average home value went from $110,935 in 2002, when taxes were last levied, to $132,798 in 2004. Gross property value in the district increased $267 million, boosting district tax revenue $4.3 million. Due to higher values, homeowners would see an average $391 increase on their tax bills. Trustee Ed Clark proposed adopting a lower tax rate. “I don’t want to put taxpayer money in a cookie jar for a rainy day like some grandma,” he said. “I expected to be able to give a better tax cut to the taxpayers.” Any excess collections not spent at the end of the year would go into the district’s fund balance, which already totals roughly $10 million. By delaying the decision to set the tax rate, trustees hope to have the final certified appraisal values, including almost $60 million in protested values. Sandy Hill, executive director of business and support services, estimates that See NBISD. Page 5A Parker’s ex sues over unpaid credit card DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Lone Star Elementary second-graders Zana Smith, Haley Smith, Colton Kotylo and Chase Trogden wait for their parents to pick them up outside of the school Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday was the first day of school for both New Braunfels and Comal ISDs. Adding a grade doesn’t phase Lone Star Elementary School By Ron Maloney Staff Writer A former girlfriend of Comal County Precinct 3 commissioner candidate Greg Parker has sued him over an unpaid balance on a joint credit card — winning a $4,000 default judgment. A “default” in a civil case means Parker didn t appear in court and so the judge — in this case Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Diana Guerrero — decided the suit in favor of the plaintiff. Sherri Elizabeth Belicek of San Antonio, who described herself in court papers filed April 23 as formerly dating Parker, said she obtained a credit card in her name with By Leigh Jones Staff Writer As the first day of school came to a close, Debbie Lyons read her third-grade class a story called "Pigsty.” The students could be excused if they had a hard time relating to the concept of a messy environment -they were sitting in one of Lone Star Elementary’s newly renovated classrooms. The renovation and expansion project took two years and came in under its $4.5 million bond project budget. Classrooms and hallways are filled with bright colors, Parker designated as the card user. “After we broke up, I stance! checking on the balance _    _ ,    and found Greg arker    it was over the limit,” Belicek wrote. “When we dated a couple years ago, I opened a credit card account for liim to use and he ran up the balance and went over the limit and didn’t pay the minimum a couple of times,” Belicek said Monday. “He's kind of messing up my See PARUM. Page 5A ■ Traffic runt smoothly at CHS despite roadwork/3A including hallway light sconces covered with glass marbles. “Everyone loves the marbles,” Lyons said. “The kids all want to run their hands over them.” The biggest change at Lone Star is the addition of third grade. Last year, the school only housed second grade. Principal Curtis Wubbena said third-graders would play an important role in getting the school year off to a See SCHOOL, Page 3A MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung Katherine Bowers, a third grade teacher at Lone Star Elementary, enjoys a laugh with student Devonda Scrutchin and her mom, Mary Clack, during Meet the Teacher night Monday.Now the official candidate, Cuellar tours District 28 Henry Cuellar By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Days after the incumbent conceded the primary election, Henry Cuellar toured New Braunfels, outlining his plans if elected to the U.S. Congress in November. Cuellar, a former 14-year state representative and Texas secretary of state whose 28th U.S. Congressional District stretches through 11 counties from Laredo to San Marcos, is a conservative Democrat. He bested three-term incumbent Oro Rodriguez in a hotly contested March 9 primary election he originally lost at the polls by 145 votes, swinging it in two recounts to a 58-vote win out of 48,000 votes cast. This past week, after losing election appeals in state and federal courts, Rodriguez gave up his bid to keep his seat. Cuellar, who as secretary of state was the official responsible for Texas elections, faces Seguin Republican Jim Hopson in the November general election in a district that is drawn nearly 70 percent Democrat. The district includes five New Braunfels voting precincts predominately located in the West End, which traditionally vote Democrat. Nonetheless, Cuellar said Tuesday he would not take his opponent for granted. “We’re working very hard,” See CULLAR, Page 5A Check us out on the web at: www.miller-millerinsurance.comMILLE?AUMILLER    625*3000Insurance Agamy    f    ffg    £    QaStOll    A VO. - DOWOtOWTI NOW B^UMelS Block Party Puton inviting West End residents out fora free block i with food, I ggggAWBHti party .fun ;