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Tax Assessor-Collector proposes new Southmost tax office

February 8, 2019

Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector Tony Yzaguirre Jr. thinks he knows just what to do with the land where the Southmost Elevated Water Storage Tank No. 4 once stood.

"The property would make an ideal location for Cameron County to continue to provide services to the approximately forty (40) thousand residents of the Southmost area," Yzaguirre said in a Feb. 1 letter sent to members of the Commissioners Court.

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board, which owns the land, demolished the water tower last year and Yzaguirre said in the letter that the now-vacant lot may be available to purchase by the county.

"The new location would provide space to house an office with at least two auto/tax clerks to assist walk-in customers and a room to hold a currency safe and storage for accountable items," Yzaguirre said in the letter.

The only space in Southmost currently available for tax purposes is the Brownsville Police Department Southmost Community Network Center.

"The current space, which allows the use of a single secured teller and shared lobby space for waiting customers is no longer suitable for our needs," Yzaguirre wrote in the letter.

Yzaguirre’s proposal for a Southmost tax office states that the building would remain open during lunch hours, would stay open until 5 p.m. instead of closing at 4 p.m., the current closing time, while including a drive-up lane and a possible partnership with BPUB for utility service monthly fee collection.

"I feel that constructing a County building for all of these services could be very beneficial for the residents of the Southmost area," Yzaguirre wrote. "It would allow my office to greatly improve the service we can provide and would be a building everyone would be proud of."

In the letter, Yzaguirre tells commissioners that he reached out to two BPUB members to ask whether BPUB would sell or donate the property.

"Both Mr. (Armando) Magallanes and Mr. (Martin) Arambula sounded interested in partnering with the City of Brownsville, Public Utilities Board and Cameron County to greatly improve the services we can provide our taxpayers," Yzaguirre said in the letter, which states that he also spoke with City Commissioner Ricardo Longoria and County Commissioner Sofia Benavides, who both represent that area.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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