Enforcement may be costly

By Timothy J. O’Malley
Managing Editor
A host of 19 agenda items were sorted through during the regular scheduled meeting of the Mexia City Council this past Tuesday. With relative ease, as each decision was considered before bring to a vote. The new budget was passed with the new Ad Valorem tax rate of $0.8132. However, two pertinent agenda items were taken into greater discussion concerning city taxpayers and the cosmetics of the city.
Council member Scott Condon requested discussion and possible action regarding vacant lots and buildings within the city. He said, “My concern is in 2017 we spent $22,000 mowing non-city owned lots and only collected $50. My question is if this is normal for us losing this much money mowing people’s lots and, if not, what steps can we go to recover some of this money?”
Mexia Code/Health Inspector Bruce Glover covered, at length and in much detail, the coarse of action is applied and how the City’s ordinance leaves little room to take stronger measures for anyone in violation. He said, “We pay a contractor $50 to mow and the City receives no recompense for administrative action. […] There is one property owner who owns several lots here in town. She had an agreement with someone in the city (name withheld) where the city would mow her property for $50 and we would bill her. [The City] never billed her for anything since 2010. She never paid one dime. She informed me she purchased the properties to put them back on the tax rolls. I informed her she is only paying $39 per year and we are not recouping anything. As with all properties, there have been no progressive efforts to collect.”

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