Public hearings on county’s FY 21 budget

By Anita Miller

Hays County will hold budget workshops on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. and on Tuesday, Aug 25 at 1 p.m. as part of the regularly scheduled meeting of the commissioner court.

County Judge Ruben Becerra laid out the bones of the FY 2021-2022 document in court July 28. 

“It’s a tough budget for a tough time,” Becerra said as he opened his presentation, adding that since the new Fiscal Year doesn’t start until Oct. 1, “we don’t know what the sitution will be” when it becomes effective. 

The budget includes a slight tax increase that is a function of increased home valuations, even though the effective tax rate was lowered from .4237 to .4187.

Becerra said the “average” home, which is valued at $262,755, would see an increase of $37.07 a month or $3.08 a month. “I can live with that,” he said. 

Some of the highlights:

• Requests for the FY 21 budget were reduced to current FY 20 expenditures

• 2% cost of living increase for employees (elected officials are excluded)

• No new positions beyond where county is already obligated

• Eliminates outsourcing inmate expense of approximately $4 million

$1.5 million salary market increases for law enforcement per Collective Bargaining Agreement

• $715,000 for new positions for expansion of jail operation

The public will be able to speak at all three public hearing. Questions may be submitted the day before the hearing to countyclerk@co.hays.tx.us.

The proposed budget should be available within days at haysountytx.com.

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