The Smith County Communications Office strives to promote transparency by providing the public with the most accurate, accessible and up-to-date information possible while promoting the county's brand and message of "Striving for Excellence."
Located on the first floor of the Smith County Annex Building
200 E. Ferguson, Suite 100
Tyler, Texas 75702
Email: Casey Murphy
National County Government Month Fact of the Day
April 16: Fact of the Day: Smith County launched a new website during the summer of 2018, to make it easier for citizens to access financial information, contact county personnel and learn about news and upcoming events in county government. The website, www.smith-county.com, also allows you to conduct business online, such as pay your taxes or court fees or search public records.
April 15: Fact of the Day: In the past year, Smith County has begun to evaluate and resolve infrastructure issues in our many county-owned facilities. By focusing on replacing and upgrading our HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and roofing systems throughout the county, as well as our parking lots, we are working to ensure that our buildings will be used for decades to come. All of the work has been done using cash from our Capital Improvements Project Fund. Last week, contractors repaved and restriped the employee/visitor parking lot by the Smith County Courthouse Annex Building, 200 E. Ferguson.
April 11: Fact of the Day: In 2017, 73% of Smith County voters approved a $39.5 million road bond package for the first three years of a six-year road and bridge plan. In 2018, construction began on these projects and this year, we will begin focusing on year 2 projects. By the time the County completes its six-year plan, all 1,200 miles of road will be at or above standard. This intentional infrastructure upgrade is crucial to the economic growth of Smith County and each of its cities. Last year, economic growth in the unincorporated areas outpaced economic growth inside the municipalities. If you want to know more about the County’s road plan, and the projects planned for each road, visit: https://www.smith-county.com/i-want-to/view/county-road-projects
April 9: Fact of the Day: Smith County has received 13 consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards and eight consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association. It has also received the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award from the National Procurement Institute for the past two years. Few other counties across the state have received such distinctions for so long, and it is a testament to the strong and experienced financial team in our Auditor’s Office, Purchasing Department and Treasurer’s Office, among others. For Smith County’s financial information, visit: https://www.smith-county.com/government/departments/auditor/financials
April 8: Fact of the Day: Fiscal responsibility and transparency are at the center of Smith County’s commitment to the community. Few know that Smith County has the 12th lowest tax rate among 254 counties in the State of Texas. This puts the county in the best 5% across the state—regardless of size. And, Smith County’s actual tax rate of .33 cents has remained constant for the past five years, save for voter-approved bond funds for a Road & Bridge bond, which added just over seven-tenths of a penny to the tax rate. For more information on Smith County’s tax rate, visit: https://www.smith-county.com/home/showdocument?id=520
April 5: Fact of the Day: Smith County has new state-of-the-art voting machines, which will be used for the first time in the City/School Elections on May 4! The machines offer more features that will streamline what polling workers have to do on Election Day and will make the process more efficient, Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said. All of the machines will be ADA compliant, have battery backups, a voter-verifiable paper trail, and a voter activation card with a barcode, eliminating human error when selecting which precinct a voter is casting their ballot. “These machines put the power in the voter’s hands to vote the way they need to,” Ms. Nelson said, when referring to a voter’s ability to change the language or font size on the machine when voting. Check out this demo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kaK2dTUJ4xCwYARtYF2AyEQOFuDEbIMz/view
April 4: Fact of the Day: The Civil War and Reconstruction left the County in poor financial condition. Prosperity was returning by 1876 and the county opted to “modernize” the courthouse by adding a third floor with a mansard roof, a clock and bell tower, and decorative porches over the doors. The project went over budget and there were not enough funds for a clock. The clock hands were simply painted on the face! It did have the right time twice a day.
April 3: Fact of the Day: The Civil War and Reconstruction left the County in poor financial condition. Prosperity was returning by 1876 and the county opted to “modernize” the courthouse by adding a third floor with a mansard roof, a clock and bell tower, and decorative porches over the doors. The project went over budget and there were not enough funds for a clock. The clock hands were simply painted on the face! It did have the right time twice a day.
April 3: Fact of the Day: The first Smith County Courthouse was an abandoned log cabin in the 300 block of West Erwin Street. In 1847, a new log courthouse was built at about 116 East Ferguson, followed in 1849 by a log courthouse built on the square. The county prospered and in 1852, the first brick courthouse was built in the center of the downtown square. Two additional smaller buildings were erected for the county and district clerks’ offices. The log courthouse was moved to the 300 block of East Ferguson and was used as the jail.
EVENT: Smith County held its second annual County Government 101 Symposium Wednesday. About two dozen people attended the free event to learn about Elections, the Court System and Performance Measures. Speakers included retired 12th Court of Appeals Justice Sam Griffith, Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran, Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson and Smith County Budget Analyst Paul Feltes. The participants were given the chance to try out the new election machines, which will be used in the upcoming City/School Elections in May.
April 2: Fact of the Day: Five commissioners -- John Dewberry, William B. Duncan, James C. Hill, John Lollar and Elisha Lott -- were appointed by the Texas Legislature to select the boundaries of Smith County. The commissioners selected 300 acres on a hilltop near the center of Smith County as the new county seat. The county seat of Tyler was named after President John Tyler.
The current Smith County Commissioners are Jeff Warr, Precinct 1; Cary Nix, Precinct 2; Terry Phillips, Precinct 3; and JoAnn Hampton, Precinct 4. Nathaniel Moran serves as the Smith County Judge.
EVENT: Today during Commissioners Court, a resolution was adopted, proclaiming April 2019, as “National County Government Month” in Smith County. The resolution encourages all county officials, employees and residents to participate in county government activities planned throughout the month. The first event, the second annual County Government 101 Symposium, is scheduled for 9-11:45 a.m. Wednesday, April 2, at The Hub, 304 E. Ferguson. It is a free event and the public is welcome to attend to learn more about county government and the services it provides.
April 1: To kick off #NCGM, this week we will be sharing some of Smith County’s 173-year history.
Fact of the Day: Smith County was one of several new counties formed by the new Texas State Legislature in April of 1846. The county was named for General James Smith, who came to Texas in 1816, fought for Texas’ independence and served during the Indian Wars. Tyler, the county seat was named for President John Tyler, and was to be located within three miles of the center of the county. The actual location was west of the geographic center because of a large spring at the corner of Spring Avenue and Elm Street. The first town lots were sold in the fall of 1846.