Grayson County commissioners unanimously gave their preliminary approval Tuesday to a tax rate that is expected to save Grayson County homeowners with $100,000 homes about $23.94 in county taxes.

The preliminary vote was just a way for county commissioners to give their final go ahead to the county auditor to file the needed paper work for the commissioners to be able to hold public hearings on the rate and schedule public votes on it.

That new rate is .416429 per $100 valuation.

“I think all of us have a starting place as we set the tax rate,” said Grayson County Commissioner Jeff Whitmire after Magers’ explanation of the budget and its tax rate.

“We want to see that current tax payers, who are very sensitive to that (appraisal) increase know that our target is that their taxes don’t increase to the county, regardless of what happens with their appraisals.” he continued.

He said they want to keep adjusting the tax rate down and run the county on the new growth.

He added that the county commissioners don’t control the other tax entities in the county or the appraisal district.

“I think we are pretty dang conservative in keeping a tax rate that limits that growth and does not produce a greater impact,” Whitmire said.

Commissioner Bart Lawrence said the bottom line is the new budget and tax rate will allow home owners with a $100,000 home to pay almost $24 less in taxes. And he is happy with that.

Magers explained that the proposed tax rate will support a budget that includes giving county employees a 3.5 percent pay increase and some big ticket items that could need funding in the upcoming fiscal year. The county has set aside $400,000 for improvements at the Loy Lake spillway though there is hope that such improvements won’t be that expensive. The budget also includes $400,000 to connect North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field to radar services.

The budget includes one new part-time employee for County Commissioner Precinct 4 and the upgrading of one part-time employee to full-time for the County Extension Office.

Magers said as the county continues to grow, local school districts do as well. That means the County Extension Office is working with more and more students.

He thanked other elected officials and department heads for holding the line on new big budget items and head count.

The county will be posting hearings on the budget rate in the coming weeks. The first is set for August 20 and the second on Aug. 27. Those public hearings will allow local tax payers to tell commissioners what they think of the proposed tax rate and the budget.