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Trinity Standard - Local News

Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company


County adopts tax rate, $5.8 million budget
Trinity Standard -

GROVETON – As previously advertised, Trinity County will keep its tax rate of 65 cent per $100 valuation for another year, although under state law it constitutes a 4.3 percent tax increase. During a special meeting Monday, the Trinity County Commissioners Court formally adopted the new rate and budget for the 2013 fiscal year. The new $5.8 million budget will go into effect on Oct, 1 and includes a 5 percent, across the board salary increase for county officials and employees. As part of their final pre-adoption review of the budget on Monday, commissioners made a number of corrections to the final spending plan including one adjustment to the Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace’s office. In the initial budget, all of the JPs with the exception of Pct. 1 JP Randy Barrett were being given a $600 increase in their vehicle allowances. The new budget called for three of the JPs to receive $6,000 during the coming year while Barrett would remain at the $5,400 level. Trinity County Judge Doug Page said he wanted to do this to “send a message” to Barrett that the commissioners were not pleased with his job performance. Because Barrett is an elected official, the only control the commissioners court has over his office is through the budget. “I want to send a message that we are not happy with the job he’s doing,” Page said. “I know he doesn’t work for us, but I don’t feel he’s giving 100 percent to the people of Trinity County.” While the commissioners also expressed concern over Barrett’s job performance, in the end they decided to add the $600 to his travel allowance to equalize it with the other JP offices. During the meeting, Sheriff Ralph Montemayor also asked commissioners about the status of his office’s mental health officer. At present, the county only has $10,000 in its budget for the officer, which is the same amount as it funded last year. The rest of the officer’s salary was funded last year by a $10,000 grant obtained through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOOG). Page told Montemayor that he is still awaiting word from DETCOG on an extension of that grant. The sheriff has indicted that if the grant were not funded, he would probably lose the services of the mental health deputy. Under the FY 2013 budget, the new tax rate is expected to generate about $3.8 million in income, which is up by about $160,000 from last year. While the tax rate is the same, the additional income will come due to an overall increase in property values. The $5.8 million budget for the coming year allocates about $4.6 million to the general fund, which is up from the $4.5 million included in the 2012 budget. The FY 2013 plan has almost $1.1 million for the road and bridge fund, which is down by about $12,000 from last year, and $72,000 to the records management fund. The records management figure is unchanged from 2012


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