Frustrating County Budget Process Culminates with Tax Increase Vote Tuesday
SAN ANGELO, TX -- After a budget process frustrated by 15 costly capital murder cases pending and pressure from skyrocketing property tax appraisals and unfunded mandates from the state legislature, Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday will vote on a 2018 budget and set a tax rate after one last public hearing.
The series of County budget hearings began in June with each department head having a chance to present their needs to commissioners. County Judge Steve Floyd presented a budget proposal in early August that would have resulted in a $900,000 deficit. Pct. 1 Commissioner Ralph Hoelscher then read a letter to the Court warning of potential bankruptcy, which Judge Floyd quickly clarified.
Judge Floyd then presented a budget requiring a three cent increase in the tax rate that would provide the County with a $2 million budget surplus that would help cover unknown costs like capital murder expenses and indigent defense attorneys.
Tuesday’s agenda calls for the Court to recess the open session. Then, “Convene Public hearing and take public comment and answer questions regarding the Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget for Tom Green County. Notice: This budget will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $2,633,251.47 or 8.37 percent and of that amount, $541,403.27 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.”
After the public hearing on the budget, the Court will consider making changes to the FY 2018 budget that the, “Court considers warranted by the law and required by the interests of the taxpayers.”
State law then requires Commissioners to take a record vote on the FY 2018 budget, then take a record vote on the tax rate to fund the budget. As it stands now, the tax rate would increase from .5250 to .5425 per $100 in property value.
Following the record vote on the tax rate, state law requires commissioners to take a record vote to ratify the tax rate.
Tom Green County Commissioners meet at 8:30 Tuesday morning on the second floor of the Keyes building, 113, W. Beauregard.