GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — After weeks of discussion and changes, the Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the final budgets for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and set the tax rate.
The commissioners agreed to a debt service fund budget of $111 million. The road and bridge budget for the new fiscal year is now set at $40,812,343.84. The general fund budget, which pays for most county operations, was approved at $212,758,329.41.
The county’s budget office initially recommended a general fund budget of $185,246,572. Commissioners, however, spent the past few weeks considering additional requests from various departments and amending that budget.
For example, during that modification process, the commissioners agreed to set aside $1.3 million for eight new patrol deputies for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Robert Chody initially asked for 16 after the budget office recommended no new patrol deputies for the law enforcement agency.
“The court has given us a great position to start,” Chody said. “This will give us a good gauge to see if our response times go down and the workload is shifted and reduced a little bit on individual deputies and jailers.”
The Williamson County Jail will also get seven new corrections employees. Chody expects those to be filled quickly because the jail currently has a waitlist for people wanting to work there.
The budget ultimately added a total of 42 new county employees, including four for the District Attorney’s Office and eight new 911 call takers at Emergency Communications.
The commissioners court set the combined county tax rate at 45 cents, which is three-quarters of a cent decrease from the current tax rate. Despite that decrease, the county says property taxes will go up about $4.25 this year for a home valued at $100,000.