County Judge Wade McKinney filed a proposed budget on Wednesday.

The 2020 budget will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget by $1,969,251, which is an increase of 7.16%. Of that amount $544,119 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.

The total of 2020 General Fund revenues is  $25,274,059. That total was $23,963,320 a year ago.

"For some reason this year was the year of the air conditioner," McKinney said.

Early in the year, the county was hit with the cost of replacing an air conditioner at the courthouse, an expense of about $65,000.

Keeping up with the infrastructure is an ongoing challenge as facilities age.

"The county jail expansion is now 12 years old," McKinney said. "That's hard to image."

For the past couple of years the county has been putting roofs on buildings. Spending the money to do it now can save money down the line, he said.

"The property value from the appraisal district  were a bid higher than expected," McKinney said.

Now that the proposed budget is filed, Commissioners Court begins the process of going over it piece by piece.

"We're still dealing with unfunded mandates," McKinney said.

The budget calendar calls for the commissioners to meet Aug. 20 to discuss tax rates. By Aug. 23, they must publish a notice of a public hearing on the 2020 budget.

According to the calendar, public hearings on the proposed tax rate will be  conducted on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3.

If the tax rate is expected to generate more revenue than last year, commissioners are scheduled to ratify the tax rate on Sept. 17.

A public hearing on the budget will also be conducted and the document will be adopted. Finally, commissioners will vote to adopt the tax rate. The exact dates can still change, but the meetings will have to be held near those spots on the calendar to keep on pace with state deadlines.

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