Henderson County commissioners approved contracts on Tuesday to collect for three dozen taxing authorities.

“We are required, if an entity inside the county desires for us to collect for them, we cannot refuse to do that,” County Judge Wade McKinney said. “The county does not set the actual ad valorem tax rate for those entities.”

The county collects for school districts, cities and emergency services districts. Tax Assessor-Collector Peggy Goodall's office also collects within the county for Trinity Valley Community College, Athens Municipal Water Authority and lesser known entities like the Lake View Management and Development District and Henderson County Levee District No. 3. Although the county tax office sends out the bill, the money collected is diverted back to the taxing entity.

“That's why I set it up on the agenda they way I did, to try to educate the public on the role the county plays in the taxing process,” McKinney said. “We're trying to put out a little more effort to educate the people as to how that process works.”

The property owners receive their tax statements in one envelope with the charge from each entity that assesses tax on their properties listed.

The consolidated tax statement, listing all of the entities on one bill, makes it easier for the taxpayer. They can do it with one transaction. Once the county tax rate is set in September, the preparation of the statements begins. They are delivered to the taxpayers in October and are due for payment at the end of January.

On Tuesday, commissioners also:

• Proclaimed the week of May 19-May 25 Emergency Medical Service Appreciation Week.

• Approved a resolution in support of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County.

• Set a public hearing for 9:20 a.m. on June 4 to discuss a 35 miles-per-hour speed limit for CR 3817.

• Approved payment of bills totaling $265,591.78.