Commissioners met Monday afternoon to discuss and approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Public comments were accepted prior to the discussion by Commissioners, and Liz Ellis addressed the Court regarding a letter that she had sent them in which she stated her opposition to the compensation package, specifically the proposed 3% pay raise for county employees, yet taxes are being raised.
Commissioner Heck stated that property values had decreased by $60 million in the county; so therefore the taxes had to be raised in order to maintain the amount of revenue needed to meet the expenditures of the county.
Judge Wayne Brascom explained that taxes for seniors over 65 and veterans were frozen and would not be raised; he also said that this is the first time in five years that taxes had been raised for Llano County.
Judge Brascom also stated that the raises were made possible by a operational budget decrease of 5%, close monitoring of capital expenditures and using technological funds (those funds come from seizures), rather than other monies. Prior to the inclusion of the raises, Judge Brascom said that he requested that all departments reduce the budget by another 5% or $200,000. The departments were able to do that, so the raises were included.
Commissioners voted to accept the proposed tax rate of $ .2759 per $100 valuation for Maintenance Operation; $ .2432 for Operations, and $ .0327 for Road and Bridge, as well as $ .0239 for debt service, for a total tax rate of $ .2998.
The budget was adopted for 2012 with an estimated increase in revenue of 6.78%, due, in part, to the increase in tax revenue from new construction.