San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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The Hays County Commissioners Court has finalized and approved a budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The commissioners court approved a tax rate of .4670 cents per $100 valuation, down from the fiscal year 2015 rate of .4690. However, the county expects to gain more tax revenue based on additional property added to the tax roles and higher valuations of existing property; for example, the average home price increased from $176,326 to $190,152 in fiscal year 2016. The county’s fiscal year 2016 budget was set at just under $178.4 million.

The court authorized the use of $500,000 from general fund reserves to repair damage from the Memorial Day weekend flood and storms and indicated that additional reserves might be needed as project assessments continue.

Included in the budget is $1 million from the County Debt Reserves to pay down principal balance on debt; $125,000 to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan; $250,000 to continue a study of a new jail facility; and $150,000 for body cameras and Taser program for law enforcement officers.

The budget includes $1.9 million for replacement of fully equipped law enforcement vehicles; $144,000 to replace infrastructure for outdated and inadequate server storage and Wi-Fi capability throughout county buildings; $106,000 to upgrade a district court room to full functionality for jury trials; and $172,000 for capital software expenditures to address video magistration, countywide custom reporting and electronic storage options.

Also included is $125,000 for salary increases and incentive pay for eligible law enforcement positions per the county’s Collective Bargaining Agreement; $1.4 million to implement market study recommendations for employees and department heads and $238,000 for elected officials and $364,000 for 11 new fulltime positions countywide.

For budget details, visit the county’s financial transparency website here.

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