Washington County Commissioners approved adoption of the budget and levied the property tax rate for the new fiscal year at their meeting today (Tuesday).

Following a brief public hearing where no one spoke, commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the proposed budget, which accounts for $32.5 million in expected expenditures.  They also voted to levy the tax rate for 2020 at 49.5 cents per $100 valuation, the same rate from 2019.

County Judge John Durrenberger said this year’s budget reflects the work of county departments and officials to reduce expenses where possible.



Commissioner Joy Fuchs said the county did not go over this budget lightly, adding that commissioners spent many weeks working through every line item trying to figure out the best way to do things for county taxpayers and employees.

Commissioner Candice Bullock said the county had to figure in reduced sales tax revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was very important that county departments and offices worked to bring their budgets down.  Commissioner Don Koester said their efforts kept the county from having to raise taxes.

Included in the overall budget is an additional $540,009 in revenue from property taxes compared to last year’s budget, a 2.886 percent increase.  The property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year is $594,000.

The levied tax rate consists of 48.07 cents for maintenance and operations, and 1.43 cents for debt service.  Washington County Chief Appraiser Willy Dilworth said while the rate is less than the no-new-revenue rate of 49.87 cents per $100, the county will still draw in new revenue because of the new property added to the tax roll.  Fuchs said anyone who did not see an increase in property values will not see an increase in taxes.

Also at today's meeting, commissioners approved a resolution re-adopting the guidelines and criteria for granting tax abatement in a reinvestment zone created in the county.  The phase-in incentive means the partial, temporary exemption from ad valorem taxes on certain qualifying property in a reinvestment zone designated by the City of Brenham or Washington County for economic development purposes.  Brenham Economic Development Director Susan Cates said the county is required by state statute to readopt the policy every two years.

The court also heard monthly reports from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, EMS, E-911, Information Technology (IT), and Veterans Service Officer.

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  1. I hope that the county commissioners took a feel close look at the Washington County EMS budget when they ask for 40,000 dollars for rescue tools that the county already has.

  2. I’m glad to see that there were no gratuitous expenditures and that the budget was on par for what the county’s residents had hoped. I would also hope that the comment by commissioner Fuchs that “[…] commissioners spent many weeks working through every line item trying to figure out the best way to do things for county taxpayers and employees.” was not just for this budget, but is applicable for EVERY years’ budget.

    1. This REDUCE spending should be in EVERY YEARS budget & reading the entirety of proposed cuts …page by page should be always. Its a shame a pandemic has forced cuts but City & County government should always budget & have the taxpayers interest. Maybe the pandemic will result in saving money & conscientious Commissioners & yes election for one Precinct brings results. Most definitely there needs to be years of serving limited to no more than 2 terms. Definitely not 20 YEARS as it is now. That’s a cushion job that pays more than what effort is produced by some ….but good thing we’re seeing younger interested citizens now as a commissioner. Goodness hope that continues. It needs new citizens to serve & young or older we have a great influx of citizens moving in & surely hope they run for Commissioner.

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