On Tuesday, the Williamson County Commissioners Court adopted the annual county budget and tax rate. Here are the details from the county press release,
“The Williamson County Commissioners Court adopted a 2012 tax rate of .487687. This tax rate is lower than the current tax rate by .002312. Due to a slight increase in the average taxable value of a home, the lower tax rate will keep property taxes the same for the average home owner.
The Court also adopted a general fund budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year of $126,879,388, which is $931,302 more than the county’s current amended budget of $125,948,086. More than $875,000 of the $931,302 is for one-time expenditures that can be paid from unexpended funds.
The approved general fund budget included cuts of $2,668,291 from the preliminary/proposed budget of $129,547,679. Cuts included reducing social services funding and eliminating positions in the Agriculture Extension Office as well as eliminating the county trapper contract. The Court also eliminated pay increases for elected officials and reduced cost-of-living increases to 1.5% for non-law enforcement and to 1% for department heads. The Law Enforcement and Corrections employees will receive a 2.25% salary increase on their employment anniversary date.
Added to the budget was a position in the District Attorney’s Office for a victims’ assistance coordinator and a financial manager position in the Sheriff’s Office. In total, 11 new positions were added to this year’s budget, mostly in the public safety departments, while 56 were requested.
The average home value in Williamson County as of January 1, 2011, was $180,868. With the adopted rate of $0.487687, the average property tax payment for 2011 will be $882.
In addition to setting the General Fund budget, the court set the Road & Bridge Fund budget at $18,485,622 with approximately $3 million coming from cash ending, The Road and Bridge tax rate remains the same at 3 cents. The Debt Service tax rate remained the same at 17 cents.”
This year, we had more budget meetings than ever before in my tenure in office as many hard decisions had to be made. I applaud the open process that Judge Gattis instituted so that all of these decisions were made in a open and fair manner.
(This column consists of my opinion and observations and does not reflect those of any other person or organization.)