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August 7, 2012

Judge proposed county budget with no tax increase

WEATHERFORD —  

Parker County Judge Mark Riley has proposed a bigger FY 2012-13 budget with no tax increase, despite a decrease in property tax revenue. The current total tax rate is proposed to stay the same at 41 cents per $100 assessed valuation. 

The general fund tax rate is set at 26 cents per $100 assessed valuation, the debt rate for the transportation bond at 6.7 cents and the lateral road fund at 8.3 cents. 

The proposed $37.3 million budget is larger than last year’s by about $1.6 million and includes about $350,000 to fund cost of living increases of about three percent for rank and file employees, who have not had raises for the past five years. 

It will not include any increases in salaries and benefits for elected officials, as determined by a statutory vote taken by commissioners during a budget session yesterday, although grievances may be filed within 10 days of notification, Riley said.

Riley and commissioners George Conley, Craig Peacock and John Roth voted in favor of not increasing salaries and benefits for elected officials. Commissioner Dusty Renfro was absent.

“Elected officials are paid a good wage, and almost everyone has said they want to do something for the employees,” Riley said later. “We have employees at the low end of the pay scale. If we can help them, we should do that.” 

Although property tax revenue is short by $487,000 this year, sales tax revenue is projected to climb by more than $1 million, according to the proposed budget.

Another revenue boost of about $510,000 is estimated to come from fees of office; revenue in this category has increased with the volume of business as residents have requested more new vehicle registrations, property deeds, records, etc.

“We’ve got money, unless something happens in the next couple of days that will take it away,” Riley told the court. “We have money that’s in a line allocated for increases for everybody except elected officials.”

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