Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously today (Tuesday) to adopt the budget for the new fiscal year, beginning October 1st. The vote came after a quiet public hearing to begin commissioners court.
The budget projects a surplus of just under $175,000, with revenues estimated at $31.1 million and expenses at $30.9 million. It is expected to raise $2 million more in property tax revenue compared to last year’s budget—an 11.9 percent increase—because of higher property values. Of that amount, $1.3 million is revenue to be raised from minerals added to the tax roll, and $328,000 is revenue from new property.
The court also voted unanimously to levy a property tax rate of 49.5 cents per $100 valuation. The rate is lower than last year’s rate of 51.7 cents per $100, but the county expects to raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s rate. The rate will effectively be raised by 7.7 percent, and will raise taxes on a $100,000 home by about $34.20.
Also in court, commissioners approved an agreement between Washington County Emergency Communications and Blinn College to provide emergency communication dispatching for Blinn’s Bryan Campus. Dispatching services had already been provided for the Brenham Campus. E-911 Director Kristi Stamnes said Blinn will reimburse the county for dispatching services at the Bryan Campus.
Commissioners also approved the transfer of assets to Burleson County, who began operating its own district attorney’s office on September 1st. County Judge John Durrenberger said this will allow Burleson County to keep the used equipment that was in the office. He said Washington County District Attorney Julie Renken felt it was fair for the county to be able to keep the equipment, as it had been paying 40 percent of the expenses of the district attorney’s office before the split with Washington County.
Commissioners also approved:
- The purchase of a new fleet vehicle for the Washington County Appraisal District, using reserved funds.
- A flat rate/fixed fee contract for service between the county and Allison, Bass and Magee, LLP for the commissioners court precinct redistricting, ahead of the 2020 census.
- A pay application to Collier Construction for the Road and Bridge Facility.
- Formal notice from AMP for a road bore with a 12-inch natural gas pipeline for Oilfield Road in Precinct Two.
- The required Texas Ambulance Supplemental Payment Program charity policy.
- 2020 Sheriff and Constables’ fees for the county.
- Hearing of several monthly reports.