WilCo begins the process of passing a FY 2017-18 county budget

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

Commissioners approved a proposed maximum tax rate at Tuesday’s meeting, but Williamson County residents should not expect them to pass a rate as high, officials say.

The intent of passing the maximum rate was just to move along in the process of passing a budget, commissioners said.

“It’s a nuance of the law that we have to follow,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said.

The Commissioners Court chose to adopt a proposed maximum tax rate that is equal to the existing tax rate of about 47 cents per $100 valuation. However, the commissioners insisted the actual tax rate they will pass with the fiscal year 2017-18 budget later this month will be much lower.

“I can pretty much assure you that won’t be the rate we’ll end up passing,” Judge Dan A. Gattis said. “There’s a really good chance it could be lowered by a quarter, half or 10 cents.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey called the rate “a ceiling” for the court to stay under.

“We’re not going to go over that,” Covey said. “I’m not going to vote for that ceiling, I’m going to tell you that right now.”

Because the proposed maximum tax rate exceeds the effective tax rate of 45 cents per $100 valuation, state law requires the court to hold two public hearings before voting on the budget. Hearings are scheduled for Aug. 15 and 22, both at 10 a.m., at the Williamson County Courthouse.