CREEDMOOR, TEX., SEPT. 29 -- The town council of this tiny community voted unanimously tonight to double property taxes to pay a $25,000 settlement to a woman whose husband died in an accident when his car went off the road as he tried to avoid a huge pothole.
"It looks terrible when you see a 100 percent tax rate increase. We know it's not popular to have an increase, but there's no other way," said Joseph Click, mayor of the central Texas town.
Creedmoor's tax rate is 7.28 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The new tax rate is 14.56 cents per $100, which will bring in about $10,000 a year. For the average homeowner, taxes will double to $140 from $70 a year.
Creedmoor, a town of 230 people near Austin, was incorporated to avoid being annexed by Austin.
Six months later, Roy Nelson of nearby Hays County was killed when his car left a road a few feet in front of a 5-foot-wide pothole. A lawsuit on behalf of his wife and three children charged that the city's pothole caused the wreck.
Earlier this year, the family and the city agreed to an out-of-court settlement, Click said. The city agreed to pay the Nelson family $25,000 over about four years, at a rate of $3,000 every six months.