Montgomery County Commissioners Court officially adopts FY 2019-20 budget, lowers property taxes

Montgomery County Commissioners Court at a Sept. 4 special meeting unanimously adopted the fiscal year 2019-20 budget that staff and elected officials have been building.

The county's budget includes proposed revenue of $336.6 million, Budget Officer Amanda Carter said.

"That's a 0.8% increase year over year," Carter said. "If you compare, it is a slight increase from previous years but is still staying way below the population increase."

Carter said 29% of the county's budget is slated to go toward public safety including constables, fire marshals and the office of emergency management. Jail facilities, judicial expenses for the district attorney, debt services, and road and bridge departments each receive 11% of the county's budget.

"In total, you can see that over two-thirds of your budget is going toward roads, keeping people safe, and prosecuting those people to keep people safe and putting them in jail," Carter said.

This year's budget also includes 40 total new positions; increased funding for medical, worker's compensation, and property and casualty insurance; a 1.9% cost-of-living adjustment for personnel; $2.6 million for Capital Improvement Projects; and $19.1 million for contracting positions.

As for the tax rate, the court unanimously adopted the proposed combined effective rate of $0.4475 per $100 valuation. That's about $0.02 lower than the FY 2018-19 property tax rate of $0.4667.

"On behalf of the people of Montgomery County, I want to personally thank you [the commissioners] for all the hard work you have done, the thoughtful budget you've put together," County Judge Mark Keough said. "Being able to be here and to work with all of you and to work through this process was, I have to tell you, personally the greatest honor of my life to be able to do this for my county. All those [staff] involved who have contributed to this on behalf of me and my office, I want to thank you all very much. What we have done here is historic and worthy of great thanks."
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