Denton County commissioners are ready to present the proposed tax rate and adjusted budget projection for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
After several weeks of budget appeals and financial tinkering, commissioners are ready to present the proposed property tax rate of 28.2867 cents per $100 in property valuation. The public will have opportunities to comment on the rate before commissioners take a vote Sept. 3.
“I think we put together a very frugal budget,” County Judge Mary Horn said at the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday at the Courthouse on the Square.
The rate is slightly higher than the rate proposed in early July during Budget Officer Donna Stewart’s initial budget presentation.
The expense budget projection now sits at $210.3 million, up slightly from an original estimate of $210 million. The $300,000 difference includes funds set aside for a new position in technology services, $71,000 in added contract labor money and reclassifications of several positions, Stewart said after the meeting.
The budget also includes 2.5 percent pay raises for all eligible employees hired before April 1 who had successful evaluations.
The tax rate being proposed, Stewart said, is 1.16 percent above the calculated effective tax rate — the rate needed to raise the same amount of money as last fiscal year on the same property. That rate is 27.9636 cents.
The tax rate for this fiscal year is 27.7357 cents per $100 property valuation.
The proposed tax rate would mean that the owner of a $100,000 property would pay a county tax bill of $282.87, up $5.51 from the previous year.
Horn said the tax rate increase of 0.551 cents over the current rate will help pay off the voter-approved bond debt the county is planning to incur in the coming year.
“We have an awful lot of projects going on with the county. If there is something good to be said about the downturn of the economy, the bids are coming in lower,” she said. “So we need to keep on going on those projects so can we can get them for a good price.”
Those projects include new facilities, roads and bridges.
The first public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 21, with the second set for 10 a.m. Aug. 28. Both hearings will be in the Commissioners Courtroom at the Courthouse on the Square.
The public is invited to attend and be heard, Horn said, noting that residents’ input at public hearings has caused commissioners to review some of the decisions made during the budget process.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is email@example.com .