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Lake & Rivers Local News

WORD Votes to Cut Tax Rates by an Average of 24%

Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County General Manager Mike Dussere, left, helps a young fisherman at a FUNFISH event. File image.

Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County’s (WORD) board of directors voted to cut taxes by an average of 24% at their Sept. 15 meeting.

All percentage-based rates will be reduced to 3% effective Jan. 1, 2022.

WORD General Manager Mike Dussere said some businesses could even realize a 40% tax reduction.

Tax rates currently range between 3% to 5% for different taxable activities like camping, lodging, and lake rentals.

Dussere said the tax reduction was made possible by an increase in tourism.

Board President Jennifer Bretzke said in a statement that WORD decided it collects sufficient tax revenue to pay for current services.

Dussere said it is the responsibility of the government to reduce the ‘tax burden’ on citizens whenever possible.

“We are pleased that tourism has grown within Comal County to the point that WORD is able to cut taxes, and we believe that doing so will carry benefits to the visiting populace as well as local businesses which help drive the economy within Comal County,” he said.

Current tax rates are 4% for wet slips, 4% for lodging, 5% for camping, 5% for fishing guides, 5% for whitewater guides, 5% for lake-equipment rentals,

Also at the meeting, WORD approved 2022 grant requests for:

  • $10,635.84 to pay for a wet slip on Canyon Lake for Comal County ESD #3, better known as Canyon Lake Fire/EMS.
  • $3,250 for a Lowrance unit for the Comal County Sheriff’s Office.
  • $12,740 for a personal watercraft for the Comal County Sheriff’s Office.
  • $3,000 to help Keep Canyon Lake Beautiful pay for ongoing programs.
  • $12,000 for trout stocking for Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited.
  • $2,000 to help Bulverde Lions Club with a river cleanup event.
  • $3,500 to help Canyon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce pay for its Visitor’s Guide.

WORD is a park-and-recreation district created in 1988. Included in its jurisdiction is over 30 miles of floatable water on the Guadalupe River above and below Canyon Lake.

It issues permits to water-related businesses, allowing them to collect user fees from customers visiting the district.

These fees pay for:

  • Clean up of rivers, lakes and popular roadways
  • Law enforcement and emergency medical services
  • Contributions to local projects and organizations that promote and improve the district
  • Community education and outreach programs that promote safe and responsible water recreation
  • Public health and sanitation, including dumpsters and portable toilets for public use

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