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Hays County Commissioners Court Adopts FY 2020 Budget, Lowers Tax Rate

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX (Sept. 20, 2019) – On Tuesday the Hays County Commissioners Court adopted a Fiscal Year 2020 budget of approximately $383 million, an increase from the current 2019 fiscal year budget of $323 million due in large part to additional funding for personnel and equipment for an expanded and renovated County jail and new Public Safety Building. Those infrastructure improvements were approved by voters in 2016 and will open in 2020. Issuance of the remaining 2016 voter-approved road bond debt also contributed to the budget increase.

The County budgeted $717,000 for expansion of the County’s flood warning system and $750,000 for flood mitigation projects, as well as $2.5 million for new employees — $500,000 of which will fund additional personnel for the Criminal District Attorney’s Office to combat the increased number of child protection and criminal cases that come with the growing population in the county. Elected officials, except for Commissioner Court members, will receive a five-percent raise, the first since FY 2016 when a salary analysis determined their salaries were below market. The budget includes a three-percent merit pool for employees, and an average 2.5-percent step increase for law enforcement personnel under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Court budgeted $50,000 to help ensure a complete census count of underserved areas, and in separate action approved submitting a grant application to the Hogg Foundation for additional funds. The data collected during the census count, which occurs every 10 years, determines the number of seats a state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities.

Approximately $3.5 million will cover FY 2020 costs of outsourcing inmates, which will continue until the current jail is renovated. Inmates in the current jail will be moved to the new jail when it opens to allow for the 1980s-era jail to be modernized

The Court set a lower tax rate of 0.4237 cents per $100 valuation – the current tax rate is 0.4337 per $100 valuation. County government taxes are only part of any property owner’s overall tax bill since other jurisdictions – such as cities, schools and special districts – set their own tax rates.

Once finalized, financial documents will be available for review online at https://hayscountytx.com at the Financial Transparency icon. A copy of the budget will also be available at the County Auditor’s Office in the Hays County Government Center, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos 78666, during regular business hours.

For detailed information about the complexities of tax rate calculations required by law, visit the Truth in Taxation information on the Hays County website. If you have additional questions about your personal tax bill, contact Jenifer O’Kane, Hays County Tax Assessor-Collector at 512-393-5545 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or visit the main tax office at 712 S. Stagecoach Trail, San Marcos, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The budget and tax rate go into effect on October 1, 2019.

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