Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Houston County Adopts Budget, Tax Rate
Houston County Courier - September 2009
The Houston County Commissioners Court officially adopted the 2009-2010 county budget and set the 2009 tax rate during a regular meeting Tuesday morning.
Both actions were taken on unanimous votes. The county’s new fiscal year begins October 1.
The tax rate will remain at 38.6 cents per $100 of valuation, which is slightly less than the effective tax rate.
The effective tax rate is a calculation of the rate that would produce the same amount of taxes if applied to the same properties that were taxed in the preceding year.
Of the total tax rate, 35.6 cents is for maintenance and operations, while three cents is for debt service on the new Houston County Justice Center which is under construction.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt explained that the county is holding down the debt service tax by paying a portion of the debt payment out of the general fund.
“Compared to last year, when you take out the money used to help make the debt payment, general fund expenditures will be $526,739 less in the new year,” he noted.
“That’s a decrease of almost 7.7 percent. We have taken a lean budget and made it even leaner.”
Total general fund expenditures for 2009-2010 are $6,902,807. The combined budget for all four Road and Bridge Precincts is $2,248,290.
The new budget for the Jury and Court Support Fund is $302,300.
These are the major funds of the county budget, which also includes numerous other special funds.
In other business Tuesday, the Houston County Commissioners Court: approved the schedule of salaries for all county employees for the new year.
There were no pay raises given; however, longevity pay is being increased from $60 to $96 per year.
Commissioners received orders from the District Judges setting the salaries of the County Auditor, Assistant Auditors, and Court Reporters.
The county approved the addition of Earl Jones as part time employee in the Houston County Office of Emergency Management, effective Oct. 1. Jones will continue to serve as 911 database coordinator, which he now does under contract.
Commissioners approved renewal of a contract with Anderson County for juvenile detention services and authorized Lucas Roofing to proceed with gutter and roof repairs at the county-owned building which houses the Texas Department of Human Services at 601 Cedar Street in Crockett. The estimate for the repairs was $490.
Commissioners court approved payment of bills, expenses and payroll totaling $822,222.40. Of that amount, $562,763.48 was payment for work done during August on the new Houston County Justice Center.