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Victoria County OKs $45.6 million budget, keeps tax rate flat

By DAVID TEWES
Sept. 20, 2010 at 4:20 a.m.


Other businessThe commissioners court also approved an agreement with Suddenlink Communications for Internet service.

The agreement will reduce the county's cost by $200 a month.

A $45.6 million budget that includes a $1,000 pay cut for all elected officials was approved Monday by the Victoria County Commissioners Court.

The court also approved a tax rate of 39.86 cents for each $100 of taxable property value. That rate is unchanged from last year.

"This year has been the toughest budget year as long as I've been here," County Commissioner Kevin Janak said after the meeting. "We've been blessed to keep the same tax rate we've had since 2004, which is very, very good for the public to try to get us through this recession."

County Judge Don Pozzi has said the pay cuts for the 26 elected officials would save about $30,000, including fringe benefits, in the 2011 budget year that begins Jan. 1.

The cuts include County Auditor Judy McAdams, whose salary is set by the district judges. But McAdams volunteered to take the cut.

The budget also eliminates 19 positions and cuts the pay for three other positions in 2011.

At least three of the people in the 19 positions were retiring and won't be replaced. Pozzi said there may be others eligible for retirement who he doesn't know about.

"We certainly recognize there are individuals who may disagree with both the budget and tax rate," Pozzi said. "I would encourage them to participate more than they have in past."

Pozzi said the court has cut more than $3.5 million from the budget during the past two years. The budget and tax rate were approved unanimously.

"We have worked long and hard on this budget," he said. "We had to make difficult decisions, as you all know."

Pozzi said he hopes things will improve in the future, allowing the county to provide raises and restore other benefits for the nearly 600 county employees.

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