Hays County’s budget gets approval

Staff Report

 

The Hays County Commissioner’s Court Tuesday voted to adopt the county’s fiscal year 2016 budget and property tax rate. 

By a 4-0 vote, the Commissioner’s Court approved its $176.5 million budget for the next year. Included in the budget is $64 million in general expenses and $12 million for road and bridges in Hays County. 

The court also voted 4-0 to adopt the property tax rate at $.4670 per $100 taxable valuation. That rate comprises of a 5 percent increase in the effective rate, which was $.4419.   

The county’s budget will raise more total property taxes from last year’s budget by 8.4 percent, or $5.3 million dollars. Of that amount, roughly $3.07 million will derive from properties added to the county’s tax rolls. 

But during the public hearing on the budget, Hays County citizen Dan Lyon held issue with salary increases for county employees. Hays County’s budget will have $1.6 million allocated for salaries, which is an increase of roughly $238,000 from last year. 

Lyon called the commissioners, who will receive a salary increase, “brigands,” and that they are “lining their own pockets.”  

“In my opinion, you’re like jackals and hyenas attacking the cash cow, who are the people paying your taxes,” Lyon said. “You pretend to be helping the people of Hays County. The truth is, your exorbitant taxes are hard on the middle class and the working poor.” 

Hays County Judge Bert Cobb followed by cautioning the court.   

“If you think this court has done something fraudulent and illegal, I suggest you speak with the District Attorney and file charges,” Cobb said. “Be careful with what you say. It may comeback to bite.”

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