Hopkins County Commissioners Court Monday unanimously approved the adoption of the tax rate, salaries for elected officials, and the 2020-21 budget as proposed on Sept. 14.
The Commissioners Court approved a 2 percent salary increase for elected officials and all county employees, as well as an additional $25 in longevity pay for employees after they have been with the county for two year. The raises and longevity increases are within what County Judge Robert Newsom Robert Newsom calls a “conservative budget.”
A public hearing for the proposed 2020-21 county budget, a balanced budget, was conducted.
Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook submitted a few changes to the originally proposed county budget, which was posted on the county website.
After adjustments for monthly expenses, the Civic Center Manager requested the facility’s machinery and equipment budget be changed from $8,000 to $8,600 and the special projects fund increase from $56,000 to $64,892, Aulsbrook reported.
“Also, I had a change on the Elections budget for the software maintenance. Proposed was $18,880 and her invoices that are coming in showed that she needed more, so we raised it to $20,366,” Aulsbrook reported.
“We have purchased some additional equipment,” County Clerk Tracy Smith said.
Aulsbrook said the changes are still within the county budget for 2020-21.
“The only fund that we may need to discuss is road and bridge. It’s within budget by $926. We’re bringing in more than what’s budgeted. We need to discuss later on the rollover, whether we are going to continue that. I know y’all wanted to continue it this year, but moving forward, we need to talk about that.”
“This budget will raise more money from property taxes from last year’s budget. The amount of $425,410, which is a 3.4 percent increase from last year’s budget. All of the funds are within budget,” Aulsbrook.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley pointed out and Aulsbrook affirmed the increase in projected overall tax revenues is not due to an increase in the tax rate, but can be attributed to an increase in property values, which the commissioners court and county other elected county officials have no control over.
Bartley made the motion, which was seconded by Precinct 1 Commission Mickey Barker, to approve the budget as proposed with the noted revisions. The measure received unanimous approval of all 4 commissioners and the county judge.
The Commissioners Court also unanimously approved on the motion by Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin and a second by Bartley, to adopt a 2020-21 county tax rate of $0.624892 per $100 property value, as recommended by County Tax Collector/Assessor Debbie Mitchell.
The county will allocate $0.546892 of that tax for maintenance and operations and the remaining $0.078 toward principal and interest on debts. As mentioned by Aulsbrook, that tax rate will remain the same, but will generate more in revenues than during the 2019-2020 year.