Williamson County commissioners approve larger budget, lower tax rate for 2018-19

The Williamson County Commissioners Court meets most Tuesdays at the county courthouse on the Square in downtown Georgetown.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court meets most Tuesdays at the county courthouse on the Square in downtown Georgetown.

Williamson County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a $364.5 million total budget for fiscal year 2018-19 on Tuesday, representing an 11-percent increase over last year’s adopted budget.

The court also set the county's property tax rate at $0.459029 per $100 in taxable value.

The $364.5 million total includes: $212,758,329.41 for the general fund; $111,064,745 for debt service; and $40,812,343.84 for roads and bridges.

The general fund budget swelled by $27.5 million from the recommended $185,246,572 to $212,758,329.41 after the court added several line items during budget discussions to include 16 additional new full-time positions, new voting machines and technology upgrades, among other additions.

The roads and bridges budget increased $4 million—from $36,726,935 to $40,812,343.84—and the debt service budget, which covers repayments of debt associated with roads, parks and other capital improvements, increased $3.7 million—from $107,366,640 to $111,064,745—from the county's initial recommended budget.

The court held two budget sessions and a public hearing before making taking a final vote.

“These are the essential needs of the county,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long said. “They are capital needs and in lots of different [county departments].”

Williamson County Budget Officer Ashlie Koenig said the court was able to lower the tax rate even while increasing the budget as increasing property values are expected to allow the county to bring in more tax revenue.

Williamson County will end the fiscal year with an estimated $97.3 million in uncommitted general fund cash reserves and $21.2 million in road and bridge fund uncommitted cash reserves, according to First Assistant County Auditor Julie Kiley.

Tax rate


Even with the budget additions, the court voter to reduce the tax rate by three-quarters of a cent from the proposed maximum rate of $0.466529 per $100 of taxable valuation set in July.

County Judge Dan Gattis said from the start of the budget process that he would like to lower the tax rate by at least one cent. However, after evaluating the needs of the county, Gattis joined the rest of the court in a compromise on a three-quarter cent reduction.

“It’s a balancing act up here [on the Commissioners Court] and it's difficult with the needs that [the county] has with growth,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey said after the final vote was taken.

With the rate set at $0.4590 per $100 in value, the average Williamson County homeowner will pay about $4.25 more in taxes per $100,000 in taxable home value, Commissioner Covey said.

The tax rate breakdown per $100 in taxable value is:



  • Maintenance and operations: $0.2515

  • Interest and shrinking: $0.1675

  • Road and Bridge: $0.0400


While the maintenance and operations tax rate was lowered by a three-quarter cent than what was initially proposed, the debt service and road and bridge tax rates remained the same as the rate in FY 2017-18.

Additions made to the recommended budget:



  • Upgraded the administration specialist position from part time to full time in veteran services: $27,083.55 (budget session 1)

  • Increased the janitorial contract: $500,000 (budget session1)

  • Approved a nondepartmental increase for county lawsuits: $100,000 (budget session1)

  • Added an emergency services dispatch: $730,000 (budget session1)

  • Added a programming specialist in wireless communications: $80,431 (budget session1)

  • Added a system support specialist in Information Technology: $68,297.01 (budget session1)

  • Upgraded the position of deputy district clerk II from part time to full time: $37,714.02 (budget session1)

  • EMS/Round Rock Bay: $120,000 (budget session1)

  • Moved the funding for two MOT FTEs from the Tabaco Fund: $149,899.68 (budget session 2)

  • Approved new voting machines: $4.5 million (budget session 2)

  • Added eight sheriff’s office patrol deputies: $1,345,259.28 (budget session 2)

  • Added two School Resource Officers for Round Rock ISD through the Sheriff’s Office: $359,417.36 (budget session 2)

  • Environmental sanitation: $64,149.73 (budget session 2)

  • Added a lead victim assistance coordinator for the District Attorney’s Office: $71,704 (budget session 2)

  • Added a child abuse intake assistance coordinator for the District Attorney’s Office: $130,950.94 (budget session 2)

  • Added position for county director of administration:$136,351 (budget discussion Aug. 28)

  • Added position for financial manager in the Sheriff’s Office: $42,500 (budget discussion Aug. 28)

  • Additional radios for Sheriff’s Office:$48,000 (budget discussion Aug. 28)

  • Long-term transportation plan in general fund: $7 million (budget discussion Aug. 28)

  • Capital improvements: $12 million (budget discussion Aug. 28)


Correction: The initial story incorrectly stated the debt service budget was $11,064,745. The correct debt service budget was $111,064,745. Also, the tax rate was stated to be $0.4590 per $100 in value instead of $0.459029 per $100 in value.
By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

Chisholm Trail Road will be closed between RM 620 and Sunset Drive due to utility work scheduled for the RM 620 project. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Chisholm Trail Road in Round Rock to close July 13 through early August for RM 620 work

Chisholm Trail Road will be closed between RM 620 and Sunset Drive due to utility work scheduled for the RM 620 project.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

The Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant's expansion is an anticipated three-year process that will increase the plant's capacity by 40%. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plans to expand Brushy Creek wastewater plant in Round Rock by 2023 move forward

The consulting agreement approved July 9 would test materials such as concrete, soil and asphalt to ensure that the products are made to the city's specifications.

A photo of Del Valle ISD's Cardinal stadium
Del Valle ISD approves Tesla incentives, paving way for possible Travis County agreement

The school district's July 9 vote could yield Tesla around $46.4 million in tax abatements if the company chooses Travis County as its next factory site.

vote buttons
NEW: Round Rock City Council postpones its election to May 2021

Round Rock City Council has formally postponed its next election to May 1, 2021.

Repeated violators of Round Rock's emergency face coverings ordinance will now only face a maximum $200 fine. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock lowers emergency mask ordinance fine following substantial compliance

Repeated violators of Round Rock's emergency face coverings ordinance will now only face a maximum of a $200 fine.

Williamson County reported 175 additional cases of coronavirus July 9. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
175 cases of coronavirus, 2 deaths confirmed in Williamson County on July 9

The Williamosn County and Cities Health District reported 23% of hospital beds and 9% of ICU beds are available.

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic as of July 9. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County tops 700 new COVID-19 cases for second straight day July 9

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

Reported coronavirus cases jumped nearly 400% over the past month in Williamson County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Reported coronavirus cases jump nearly 400% over past month in Williamson County

Coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations also saw the largest increase in the past 30 days.