A charter is a document that establishes the city’s governmental structure and provides for the distribution of powers and duties among the various branches of local government. The citizens of a municipality have the authority, as enacted by an election, to have the rules of their choice in place in the charter, so long as they do not conflict with state law.
What happens if the majority of citizens vote “no” on a charter amendment proposition?
The charter provision will remain with the current language. Requests to change the charter can only occur once every two years at the most, therefore no more changes could be voted upon until 2016.
If the charter is different from state law, which applies?
In general, state law. The charter can, however address areas that are not directly addressed by state law. For example, the election code sets uniform dates and other election laws that must be followed state wide. But, the municipality can decide other details that are not required by the state election code. The same applies the procurement laws, or municipal finance.
Why is the charter being changed now?
The charter has not had any substantial changes for many years. State law has changed in many areas that are covered by the charter.
Are there rules regarding how many times a charter provision can be changed?
No, there are no rules for the number of changes, only the frequency. The charter cannot be changed again for at least two years after this election.
Why does the city not promote which way voters should vote on the charter amendments?
The city is prohibited by state law from advocating for any outcome in any election. Therefore, city employees and public funds can only be used to state facts regarding the amendments without any advocacy for the item either way.
Is a permit required to build a storage building?
Yes, a building permit is required when you build or move a storage building that is 120 square feet or more. Building or moving a storage building, 120 square feet or less requires a zoning permit.
Is a permit required to install a swimming pool?
Yes, all pools that are permanent or storable in or above ground and that are 2 feet or more in depth require a permit.
Is a permit required to build or replace a fence?
Yes, a permit is required when you are constructing, erecting, replacing or repairing fifty percent or more of the fence.
Is a permit required to occupy a building, lease space or premises to store or conduct business?
Yes, a Certificate of Occupancy permit is required before you occupy a building, lease space, change in ownership of a business, change in business name, or before relocating business from one location to another.
Is a permit required to install a sign?
Yes, a sign permit must be obtained prior to erection, repair, alteration or relocation of any sign. If the sign is illuminated an electrical sign contractor must be involved in the permitting process.
Is a permit required to re-roof or repair my roof?
Yes, a permit is required when you replace, re-roof or repair more than fifty percent of a roof.
Is a permit required to change the exterior finish of my house or building?
Yes, a permit is required when you change fifty percent or more of the exterior finish, however, painting does not require a permit.
Is a permit required to remodel or add to my house?
Yes. But, does not include cosmetic work.
Is a permit required to change my water heater?
Yes, a permit is required to install or change a water heater.
Is a permit required for a garage sale?
Yes, a permit is required. Each household is only allowed 12 garage sales per year.
Is a permit required to connect electrical power to an existing residence within the City limits?
Yes, a permit and inspection is required, the permit can be obtained by a licensed contractor, homeowner or tenant.
Does the City of Del Rio issue building permits to build in Val Verde County or Extraterritorial Jurisdictions (ETJ)?
No, a building permit is not required by the City of Del Rio. Please contact the Val Verde County Health Department at (830)774-7570.
Note: A plumbing permit must be obtained from the City of Del Rio for plumbing work in the ETJ.
How do I subscribe to receive emergency notifications?
The City of Del Rio is able to send you emergency alerts via text message, email, or voice mail (in extreme cases), based on your preferences.
The system is intended to be used for emergency alerts, as well as non-emergency incidents that may have significant impacts to residents. Emergency Alerts could be related to specific hazards that require some kind of action be taken such as evacuation, shelter in place, boil water orders, etc. Non-emergency alerts could include significant transportation problems with prolonged impacts or significant ongoing police or fire activity.
PLEASE follow the link to sign up for AlertSense. This new mass notification/reverse 911 system will provide our citizens with a robust notification system for weather information and warnings, community alerts, traffic situations, etc. Additionally, this new system will provide our first responders and city agencies with new tools to help them to provide our citizens with more effective emergency and non-emergency services.
By following the link and taking a few minutes to sign up for the City of Del Rio/Val Verde County’s new mass notification system alerts (AlertSense), citizens will be ensuring that they will be receiving the timeliest weather and emergency alerts.
Following the link below you have several options:
***THE CITY OF DEL RIO RECOMMENDS SELECTING THE FIRST OPTION (SIGN IN OPTION) IN ORDER TO HAVE THE MOST COMPLETE MESSAGING CAPABILITIES!
1.) If you wish to have flexibility to receive texts, voice calls to your cell, 2nd cell, home and or work phones, and to receive emails please select the Sign In option and complete the short form. Please include your address or an intersection near your address so the system can locate you for emergencies in your area. Adding your address will allow tailoring so you do not receive alerts that don’t pertain to your geographical area.
2.) If you wish to subscribe to SMS text messages only, text your zip code to 38276.
3.) There are apps available for your use as well, but should be used in addition to the Sign In option.
Follow link to sign up!
Fire reports are handled by the City Secretary’s Office. You can contact their office at 830-774-8680.
Who do I call for fire inspections?
For fire inspections, please contact Fire station #4 at 830-775-7012.
I don't know what City number to call. Is there a general phone number?
Yes; you can contact our Customer Service Representative at 830-774-8500.
I have bees at my property. Who do I call?
While the Fire Department does not remove bees, you can call our office at 830-774-8650 to assist you in finding a local bee handler.
I locked my keys in my car. Who do I call?
When you lock keys inside of your vehicle, it's best to contact a local locksmith. The Fire Department only responds to emergency situations such as a child being locked inside a vehicle, medication, or other emergency items that are locked in the vehicle. For emergencies, please contact 9-1-1 immediately.
I think I smell gas. What should I do?
Please call (830) 774-8622 any time you think that you smell gas. A customer service representative is always available to take your call and advise you of safety procedures. A qualified service technician will be dispatched to investigate and assure your safety.
What are the common signs of a natural gas leak?
A gas odor
A blowing or hissing sound
Dirt being blown or thrown into the air at a pond or creek
Fire coming from the ground
Brown patches in vegetation near a pipeline right-of-way
A dry spot in a moist field
How can I tell if I live or work near a gas pipeline or where pipelines are located?
Call the City of Del Rio Gas System emergency line immediately, (830) 774-8622. Immediately shut down any motorized equipment, avoid using ignition sources such as telephones and electrical switches. If the odor is inside, open doors and windows. Vacate the area until a service technician or emergency personnel arrive.
How do I recognize pipeline damage?
Below are the common signs of pipeline damage: 1. Gas escaping - hissing, bubbling, dead vegetation or gas odor 2. Fire involving or in the vicinity of a pipeline 3. Explosion involving or occurring near a pipeline 4. Unauthorized digging or construction near a pipeline 5. Natural disasters involving pipelines
What do I do if a pipeline is damaged?
Call the City of Del Rio Gas System's emergency line immediately, (830) 774-8622. Do not try to fix or repair the damage. Let the broken line ventilate, letting the gas escape into the air, and do not cover or hide the broken line. Eliminate any source of ignition from the area, and do not allow unnecessary people in the area. Call the local fire department to advise the location of the pipeline damage.
What are property taxes?
Property taxes – also called ad valorem taxes – are locally assessed taxes. The county appraisal district appraises property located in the county, while local taxing units set tax rates and collect property taxes based on those values. Property taxes provide more tax dollars for local services in Texas than any other source of revenue. They help pay for public schools, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection and many other services.
How is the amount of taxes I pay determined?
The amount of taxes paid on a property is based on the property’s taxable value which is appraised by the Val Verde County Appraisal District and the tax rate which is adopted by the taxing unit’s governing body.
Which entity is responsible for appraising my property's value?
The value on your property is determined by the Val Verde County Appraisal District. The appraisal district is responsible for discovering, listing and appraising all taxable properties within its jurisdiction. The Chief Appraiser is the chief administrator of the appraisal office.
What if I do not agree with my property's appraised value?
Every year from March through May, the appraisal district sends out notices to property owners whose property values are subject to change. During this period, the property owner may meet with the appraisers and try to come to an agreement. If the property owner is not in agreement with the value, he/she may file a protest and have their case heard by the Appraisal Review Board. The protest, however, must be filed by the deadline given by the appraisal office.
Which local taxing units may tax my property?
If your property is situated within the city limits, your property will be taxed by the city and county. If your property is situated outside the city limits, your property will be taxed by the county. The school district and hospital taxes are also collected by the county.
What is an exemption and what exemption does the City of Del Rio offer?
Exemptions exclude a part or whole value of a property from taxation. This lowers the tax amount due on a property. The taxing entity’s governing body determines what exemptions are offered for each taxing unit. The exemptions offered by the City of Del Rio are;
Over 65 Residence Homestead Exemption –To qualify, you must own your home on January 1st, the property owner must be 65 years of age or older and the property be their homestead. The property owner may also file for a Tax Deferral Affidavit which defers the collection of taxes if they own and occupy the residence.
Disabled Veteran Exemption - The exemption amount is based on the percentage of disability.
Where do I apply for an exemption?
All applications for any exemptions must be filled out at the Val Verde County Appraisal District. The Chief Appraiser determines if an applicant qualifies for an exemption and notifies the respective taxing units. The Val Verde County Appraisal District is located at:
Val Verde County Appraisal District
417 Cantu Road
Del Rio, Texas 78840
Where can I report a change in ownership or mailing address?
Any change regarding the ownership of a property or change of mailing address must be reported to the Val Verde County Appraisal District. The appraisal office will then notify the taxing units of the change.
When are property taxes due?
The tax bills go out around October 1st of each year and are due upon receipt. Payment for current taxes must be made by January 31st to avoid paying penalties and interest.
When do the taxes become delinquent?
The taxes become delinquent on February 1st of the following year in which they were imposed and are subject to penalty and interest and possible legal action.
What is the amount of penalty and interest?
When is the additional penalty for attorney fees usually added?
Personal Property accounts that become delinquent on February 1 and remain delinquent on April 1 of the tax year incur the additional penalty for attorney fees of 15% on April 1.
Real Property accounts that become delinquent on February 1 and remain delinquent on July 1 of the tax year incur the additional penalty for attorney fees of 15% on July 1. In cases where a law suit has been filed for prior year delinquencies, the additional 15% penalty for attorney fees will be assessed at February 1.
Any supplemental taxes that become delinquent on or after June 1 also incur the additional penalty for attorney fees after the collector sends the required notices.
When can a taxing unit file a delinquent tax suit?
A taxing unit may file a tax suit at any time once taxes on a property go delinquent. The taxing unit’s last resort is taking a delinquent property owner to court. Once a tax suit is filed, court costs and other fees may be added to the delinquent tax bill.
What if I didn't receive a tax bill, will I get more time to pay my taxes?
State law provides that failure to send or receive a tax bill does not affect the validity of the tax, penalty or interest due by an individual, the tax delinquency date, the existence of a tax lien, or any procedure the taxing unit institutes to collect the tax. Property owners who do not receive a tax bill and their taxes are not being paid by a mortgage company or bank should call our office so that we may mail or fax them a statement of the taxes due.
Does your office honor post-marked mail payments?
Our office will honor post-marked payments only if it bears a post office cancellation mark of a date earlier than the delinquent date. However, it is the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure that the payment is stamped with the same date it is delivered to the post office.
Is there a special payment plan for elderly or disabled property owners?
Property owners who qualify for a 65 or Over Homestead or Disability Exemption may pay their current year taxes in four equal installments without penalty and interest. In order to qualify for this payment plan, the property owner must notify our office and make the 1st installment no later than January 31st.
The payment deadlines are as follows:
The 1st installment must be paid no later than January 31st.
The 2nd installment must be paid no later than March 31st.
The 3rd installment must be paid no later than May 31st.
The 4th installment must be paid no later than July 31st.
Please Note: If an installment payment is late, a 6% penalty will be added plus 1% interest for every month delinquent.