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Do you know what your school district’s total tax rate is? How about the proposed tax rate in your county? Were you aware that your city council’s proposed rate is lower than the current rate but higher than the effective rate?

If you answered no to any of these, you are not alone. Budget time is often stressful and confusing to residents, but it is important to be informed and engaged, as it will have a direct impact on you.

As a newspaper, one of our primary roles is to inform our readers about what is going on in the community. Check out our editions in the last month, and you’ll find meeting agendas, meeting coverage and legal notices about these issues.

Democracy requires participation and cannot properly function without it. Public hearings on the budget in the Johnson County Commissioners Court and Cleburne City Council drew no speakers. Such lack of public response is, unfortunately, almost always par for the course when it comes to public hearings be it for proposed budgets or other matters. Absent public input, elected officials are left to assume the people’s desires and best interests. 

Merriam-Webster defines apathy as the lack of interest or concern. When it comes to matters of our cities, counties and schools, this should not be the case.

As residents, now is the time to get involved and voice these concerns, not on Election Day and not after the votes have been tallied. By following the process from start to finish, not only can you make informed decisions that directly impact you and your neighbors — you also have a hand in guiding our local government entities in the direction you feel they should be going.

So find out what your proposed tax rate is and how it will impact you. Check out that school district bond proposal public hearing and see what needs may be covered if it passes.

Not sure when that next meeting is? Visit the county website, reach out to city officials or check your local newspaper.

Your input is highly valued and its crucial for you to be involved in what your school, city or county is doing. But it starts now.

 

Cleburne Times-Review

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