No one from the public spoke out at the hearing Grayson County commissioners held about the proposed tax rate and budget for 2021 Tuesday.
Grayson County Judge Bill Magers praised the county’s other elected officials and department heads for their help in putting together the budget in what has been a trying year.
Back in July, commissioners gave tentative approval to a $40 million budget for 2021 that cuts taxes and spending by $1 million. The budget also promises a modest pay increase for county employees.
The proposed budget cuts taxes from .4164 per $100 valuation in 2020 to.3767 in 2021. That brings the county’s tax rate cuts over the last five years to 23 percent.
The proposed budget eliminates 14 full-time positions and seven part-time ones.
Magers said those cuts were made without anyone being laid off, fired, or furloughed. They were simply unfilled positions that were cut from the budget.
The budget will still allow commissioners to give county elected officials and department heads about a 1.5 percent increase to pass on to their employees as pay raises.
Magers stressed that the proposed budget is conservative when it comes to income and spending and it is based on the fact that that county leaders are concerned about the next year’s tax payments not being what they have been in the past.
He explained that when COVID-19 hit, the county has just finished collecting the majority of its taxes for the 2020 tax year. The county generally builds is budget on a collection rate of around 97 percent but then the county generally collects about 99 percent of the taxes. He said he is concerned that the county might not reach that 99 percent collection rate in 2021 so they wanted to make sure to make the budget as tight as possible while still providing for employees while continuing to offers critical services to county residents.
While no one spoke out against the proposed tax rate or budget Tuesday, it is still not final.
Commissioners are set to consider the new budget one more time next week. If all goes as it seems it might, the budget will be finally approved at the next commissioners court meeting.