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Bee County commissioners scheduled to adopt budget, set tax rate on Monday
by Scott Reese Willey
Sep 26, 2008 | 895 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The people who run Bee County government will likely receive their second pay raise in three years on Monday.

County commissioners are scheduled to meet Monday evening to adopt a spending plan for the coming budget year that includes a 3 percent across-the-board pay raise for all county employees.

Bee County’s elected officials last received a 5 percent pay increase in September 2006 when Jimmy Martinez was county judge. That pay increase was financed with proceeds from the county’s health care fund.

The county receives about $1 million annually from Christus Spohn, which leases the county-owned medical center in Beeville.

Commissioners plan to use interest accumulated in the health care fund to finance the 3 percent across-the-board pay raise this budget year.

To help make ends meet over the next 12 months, county leaders also plan to raise the tax rate 3 cents over the effective tax rate of roughly 38 cents per $100 value.

Bee County taxpayers presently pay the county around 44 cents for every $100 worth of property they own. However, because of a significant increase in the value of taxable property countywide, the county is forced to lower the tax rate this coming budget year to about 38 cents per $100 value. At that rate, the county can effectively generate the same amount of property tax revenue this coming budget year as it did this present budget year, which ends Sept. 30.

Even though county leaders plan to raise the rate to 41 cents or so, county taxpayers will still pay less property taxes to the county this year if the value of their property has not increased.

Commissioners were scheduled to adopt a budget and set a tax rate on Monday, Sept. 22, but the notice of the meeting was not posted properly so the meeting was rescheduled for one week later.

A public hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate will be held prior to commissioners voting on the $6.6 million operating budget and tax rate.

If commissioners approve the budget and proposed tax rate, and the subsequent pay raise increase, here’s what elected officials in Bee County will earn:

County judge, $60,224; commissioners, $37,892 each; county clerk, district clerk, sheriff and tax collector, $41,136 each; justices of the peace, $22,477 each; constables, $3,085 each; county attorney, $61,306.

Part of Judge Silva’s $60,224 salary — $15,000 – will be paid for by the state of Texas and another $3,200 will be paid for by the Juvenile Board.

The county attorney will receive $21,950 of his salary from the state as well.

The county judge and all four commissioners also will receive a $600 cell phone allowance. Silva also will receive $2,000 for travel. Commissioners will receive $3,000 for travel expenses.
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