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Mosquito district to become taxing entity

By John Tompkins
The Facts

Published May 28, 2007

ANGLETON — The Brazoria County Mosquito Control District is about to become its own boss, complete with its own advisory board, tax rate and budget.

Brazoria County commissioners voted 4-1 last week to activate the district as its own entity. The district was created in 1955, and since that time, commissioners have kept the district a department of the county government.

With the move last week, the mosquito control district now will operate on its own tax revenue and would be able to keep revenue it generates rather than losing funds to the county’s general fund, Commissioner Mary Ruth Rhodenbaugh said.

“It’s not going to increase taxes,” Rhodenbaugh said of the change.

Commissioner Jack Harris got an amendment to Tuesday’s motion passed that would keep the tax rate the same if the district goes out on its own. That means the county’s tax rate would be lowered to signify the loss of the mosquito control district, Rhodenbaugh said.

With the amendment, the move would amount to a bookkeeping adjustment, she said.
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The Brazoria County Mosquito Control District is about to become its own boss, complete with its own advisory board, tax rate and budget.
ANGLETON — The Brazoria County Mosquito Control District is about to become its own boss, complete with its own advisory board, tax rate and budget.

Brazoria County commissioners voted 4-1 last week to activate the district as its own entity. The district was created in 1955, and since that time, commissioners have kept the district a department of the county government.

With the move last week, the mosquito control district now will operate on its own tax revenue and would be able to keep revenue it generates rather than losing funds to the county’s general fund, Commissioner Mary Ruth Rhodenbaugh said.

“It’s not going to increase taxes,” Rhodenbaugh said of the change.

Commissioner Jack Harris got an amendment to Tuesday’s motion passed that would keep the tax rate the same if the district goes out on its own. That means the county’s tax rate would be lowered to signify the loss of the mosquito control district, Rhodenbaugh said.

With the amendment, the move would amount to a bookkeeping adjustment, she said.

Though the amendment was passed as part of the motion, Harris still voted against severing the district from the county.

“I saw no reason to change it,” he said. “The court is going to lose some control. We’re going to wall off revenue to the general fund.”

The move will not take effect until the tax rate is set for the 2007-08 fiscal year, County Auditor Connie Garner said.

A tax rate, which has not yet been set for the district, must be determined by then, as well as a five-member advisory board selected by commissioners, said Charlie Wilhite, the current director of the mosquito district.

“Commissioners Court would set the tax rate,” he said. “Commissioners would also be in charge of the budget.”

The move was needed particularly in an effort to purchase new airplanes that would be equipped with sprayers to fight mosquitoes, Wilhite said.

The district currently has 1957- and 1958-model Beech 18s that are equipped with sprayers.

“They are older planes, and sometime in the future, they will have to be replaced,” he said.

The county paid $550,000 for the pair, but the cost to purchase two planes in the future would be about $1.5 million, Wilhite said. Activating the mosquito district would allow it to set aside funds for the purchase of new planes in the future, rather than using bonds to pay for them, Wilhite said.

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Comment balloon 0 commentsDanny Frank • May 28 2007 10:36AM
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