County fine-tuning $15 million budget

Meghann Garcia

Managing editor

Uvalde County Commissioners are eyeing a lower tax rate this year, but property owners could still see higher tax bills if their valuations increased.

County auditor Alice Chapman recommended setting a tax rate of 73.59 cents per $100 valuation, a slight decrease from last year’s rate of 74.09.

Proposed expenses total $15,272,355, after $26,021 was added to the anticipated $250,000 outlay for insurance coverage. When the workshop began Thursday evening, the proposed budget was balanced with expenses projected to total $15,246,334 and proposed revenue of $15,247,044.

Commissioners met for a whirlwind 31-minute session Thursday evening, when Chapman walked them through changes made since the workshop conducted in mid-July.

During the meeting, Chapman said projected revenues were based on conservative figures. Speaking Friday morning she said some underestimated revenue sources would be increased to account for the addition.

Proposed expenses are about $561,000 over the first-approved budget for the current operating year, and about $506,000 over the current budget as it has been amended.

Proposed revenue from property taxes is estimated to total $9,160,195. Currently, the county has received $8.4 million in property tax revenue, while $8.2 million was projected for the current budget year.

The proposed tax rate would continue the current general fund tax rate of 52.57 cents, lower the debt fund rate to 9 cents from 9.5 cents, and continue the road/flood rate of 12.02 cents.

The effective tax rate, which would generate the same amount of revenue as raised last year, totals 71.88 cents, while the rollback tax rate is 77.10 cents.

DARE program

While most cuts and additions came during one of the three prior workshops held in June and July, one change mentioned Thursday was eliminating the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office Drug Abuse Resistance Education, better known as DARE, program.

The $5,500 budget previously allocated for the DARE program will be added to the budget for equipment, which was previously set at $33,000 and will total $38,500.

Appraisals, bills

The Uvalde County Appraisal District provided information to Uvalde County showing the certified market values for the taxing entity total $4,027,023,341, while taxable value rings in at $1,791,715,142

The county’s tax rate, not including tax rates issued by other taxing entities, would create a bill of $368 for someone with property valued at $50,000; $552 if property is valued at $75,000; $736 for $100,000 property; and $920 for $125,000 property.

Calendar

Commissioners will consider the 2018-2019 budget and salary fund for adoption at the upcoming meeting set Aug. 13. Commissioners meet at 10 a.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month in the third floor courtroom at the Uvalde County Courthouse.

At that meeting, they will also discuss the tax rate and schedule a public hearing to take place during regular meetings set Aug. 27 and Sept. 10.

The tax rate is scheduled for adoption on Sept. 24. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 of a given year through Sept. 30 of the next year.



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