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Victoria County revenues expected to climb; pay raises proposed

By Brian Cuaron
Aug. 3, 2011 at 3:03 a.m.


OTHER BUDGET REQUESTS

Judge Don Pozzi didn't give each department what they requested. The departments may present their case for additional funding when they visit the court next week.

Below are some examples:

Cell phone reimbursement: Justices of the Peace currently don't receive such a reimbursement.

Autopsies: Auditor Judy McAdams said more than the proposed $150,000 may be needed. So far, $103,000 has been spent this year.

Seminars and travel: The sheriff's office would receive $55,000, but asked for $85,000.

Auto fuel and oil: The sheriff's office would receive $225,000, but asked for $330,000.

Auto repairs: The sheriff's office would receive $125,000, but asked for $160,000.

Law enforcement supplies: The sheriff's office would receive $20,000, but asked for $45,000.

Like its heat index, Victoria County tax revenues are projected to climb in a budget that raises salaries for employees and elected officials.

County Judge Don Pozzi presented his proposed 2012 budget to the commissioners court Wednesday. The budget would give employees a 3-percent salary increase, raise the county's retirement match by 50 cents and the longevity pay by 50 cents.

The county experienced a growth of $240.34 million in taxable property value, county auditor Judy McAdams said.

The effective tax rate, which would bring in the same amount of revenue as last year, was 38.21 cents per $100 property valuation.

That was less than the current property tax rate of 39.86 cents per $100 valuation.

Pozzi said after the meeting he was for the tax rate staying at its current rate. He presented to the commissioners a table showing the effective rate being lower than the adopted rate from 1995 to 2008.

Not following the effective rate in 2009 and 2010 cost the county $238,000, Pozzi said.

He later said the rate hasn't changed since 2003.

Increased sales taxes were also expected to beef up the county's budget.

The county's 2011 budget had it receiving $6.55 million in sales tax revenue. But that was put up to $7.5 million for 2012, an increase of $950,000.

An effort to re-negotiate contracts with the city was also presented to the court.

The county pays for 14.5 percent of the city's fire department's budget.

That amounted to $1.478 million this year, but was projected to climb to $1.649 million the next fiscal year.

The increase was from two equipment purchases by the fire department, Pozzi said.

He has proposed that to the city that the number come down to $1.5 million. He was scheduled to come before the city council Aug. 18.

The county's contract with the city on transporting mental patients was also discussed.

Victoria County wants to pay a flat rate of $30 an hour for the two officers who do the transports, McAdams said. The county pays different rates based on an officer's salary.

The IT department was allocated $100,000 for computer supplies, up from $50,000 this year. They want to replace 400 county computers, 100 per year.

Commissioner Kevin Janak noted that the budget for that was cut the past two years.

The sheriff's office was projected to receive $1.2 million from its inmate bed space contract.

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