County Proposes FY 2016 Budget with Increased Debt Pay Down, Sets Public Hearing for September 22
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – At its September 1 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court proposed an FY 2016 budget of approximately $176 million and will hold a public hearing at 11 a.m. September 22 at the Hays County Courthouse, 111 E. San Antonio St., before finalizing it.
County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., thanked all County officials for their willingness to cooperate on developing a budget that provides a high level of service to citizens. “Budget development is a time-consuming yet integral part of County administration, and the Commissioners Court appreciates the hard work and compromise that went into the FY 2016 budget,” he said. “I think we’ve done a good job in meeting the needs of our citizens for the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1.”
The budget as proposed allows for an additional $910,000 of debt pay down to Limited Tax Bond Series 2008 and Certificates of Obligation Series 2009 from the County’s Debt Fund, in addition to the scheduled pay down of $11.23 million. The extra amount paid down will save an additional $470,000 in future interest payments.
“This Court has been committed to accelerating debt reduction and doing so when tax revenues are increasing due to economic growth is a responsible and best use of tax dollars,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said. “As a Court we’ve budgeted conservatively, taken on debt only for necessary infrastructure and kept our interest rates low by refinancing when appropriate. Our excellent AA rating by independent rating agencies is an indicator of our good financial management.”
The proposed budget also includes 11 new fulltime positions, $2 million to replace 37 fully equipped law enforcement vehicles and $425,000 for technology infrastructure upgrades. Based on market salary studies for employees and elected officials, the County budget will include $1.2 million for employee and $238,000 for elected official salary increases and re-grades, as well as $150,000 for law enforcement salary increases per their Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The County is in a good place financially,” County Auditor Bill Herzog said. “A proposed decrease in the tax rate combined with additional properties on our tax rolls and an increase in property valuations will allow the County to keep up with the challenging growth this County is experiencing.”
Financial documents are available for review online at www.co.hays.tx.us (Financial Transparency icon) and copies of the budget are available at the County Clerk’s Office and the Auditor’s Office in the Hays County Government Center, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos 78666.
In addition to the public hearing on the budget September 22, the Court previously scheduled two public hearings on the proposed tax rate on September 10 and September 15, both at 1 p.m. at the County Courthouse. All meetings will be livestreamed and archived on the County website.