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Harmony School Taxes to be collected by Wood County

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 Meeting in regular session, Monday, April 21, the board of trustees of the Harmony Independent School District approved a plan whereby the Wood County Tax Assessor/Collector will bill and collect from owners of Harmony school district properties located within Wood County. Trustees also heard that 66 students in Harmony's graduating senior class of 73 have been qualified as "Texas Scholars."

Trustees voted unanimously to move tax collection responsibilities on Wood County properties within the Harmony district to the office of the Wood County Tax Assessor/Collector effective with the next tax season in October. Wood County Judge Bryan Jeanes appeared at the meeting and pledged the cost would not exceed $5,776 for the service. Trustee Garry Littlejohn, Holly Lake Ranch, championed the move following the January meeting of the trustees during which a new Holly Lake homeowner challenged penalties, late fees and attorney fees related to his tax account and charged by Mike Smith, Upshur County Tax Assessor/Collector.

Smith blamed "communications problems" for the situation. Having been advised there have been numerous similar situations with new home owners at Holly Lake and their tax bills from Upshur County, Littlejohn sought a bid for the service from Wood County.

Eighty-three percent of the residential property tax value in the Harmony School District is located in Wood County, most of that in Holly Lake Ranch.

Superintendent Jed Whitaker reported 66 of this year's senior class of 73, or 90 percent, have qualified as "Texas Scholars." At the January meeting of trustees Whitaker reported that 79 percent of last year's (2007) graduating Harmony seniors enrolled in college. Statewide averages for both are at the 50 percent level or less.

Whitaker also reported a serious erosion problem in and around the tennis courts. He displayed photos of what he described as caves under the tennis courts. Trustees advised bringing in an engineer immediately to provide technically sound advice and counsel regarding possible solutions to the problem.

Trustees approved the sale of a tax foreclosed one acre lot for $6,500 but rejected a bid of $2,500 on a 4.11 acre tax foreclosed property. Another taxing entity had rejected a bid of $6,100 on the one-acre property.

Trustees also approved the hiring of three new staff members for next year: Robin Reynolds, a math teacher; Stephanie McNeil, a language arts teacher and coach, and Melinda Childs, special education. All are certified.

In other business, trustees approved entering into a contract with EDP for financial and student records. The previous supplier is discontinuing its service.

The next regular meeting of the Harmony ISD Board of Trustees will be Monday, May 19. A special meeting can be called with 72-hours notice.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2009 17:40  

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