Montgomery County approves $344.4M budget, flat property tax rate for 2019 fiscal year

Montgomery County Commissioners approved the fiscal year 2018-19 budget on Sept. 5.

Montgomery County Commissioners approved the fiscal year 2018-19 budget on Sept. 5.

Despite an overall budget increase of 4.8 percent and the addition of 34 new county employees, Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a 2019 fiscal year budget that keeps the existing property tax rate of 46.67 cents per $100 home valuation.

Following two public comment hearings, the budget was approved unanimously during a special commissioners court meeting Sept. 5. The budget is balanced with expenditures and revenues totaling $344.4 million each.

This year's budget was the first from the county's budget office, which is a new office created in March. The creation of the county budget previously fell under the duties of County Auditor Phyllis Martin, and as a result of the new office, commissioners approved moving approximately $234,000 in funding from the auditor's office to a contingency fund, with the option to reallocate to the budget office.

Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal said while this year's budget rose 4.8 percent from last year, it remains under the rate of population growth and inflation, which rose by 5.9 percent.

“This means Montgomery County is accomplishing the goals of conservative leaders who have called for the state and other governments to restrain spending below the rate of population and inflation,” Doyal said in a statement. “I am proud of this budget and the work this court put into it, and I am particularly proud of our newly named Budget Officer Amanda Carter, who during our budget workshop demonstrated a detailed knowledge of our county departments and used that knowledge to help us craft this spending plan.”

Highlights from this year's budget include:

  • The county added 34 new county positions, 17 of which will be in law enforcement or the county courts.

  • 44 percent of budget spending goes toward law enforcement, courts and related activities.

  • The county will raise $8.1 million more in property tax revenue than the previous year's budget.

  • The budget includes $55 million in spending on public facilities, including the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, precinct parks, the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center and the county jail.

  • The estimated unemployment rate in Montgomery County is at 3.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2017, according to county budget documents.


To view the full budget document, click here.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

The current Humble Fire Station No. 2 is located on Wilson Road. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Humble City Council votes to negotiate contract with architect to design Humble Fire Station No. 2 replacement

Members of the Humble Fire Department were also recognized by City Council for their win at the North Harris Firefighter Challenge on April 24.

Mayor Norman Funderburk took the oath of office on May 13. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Humble swears in incoming Mayor Norman Funderburk, incumbent council members

Norman Funderburk was sworn in as mayor and incumbents Charles “Andy” Curry and Charles Cunningham were also sworn in after being re-elected to places 1 and 2, respectively.

See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See how some Greater Houston area school districts are planning to go back to school for the 2021-22 academic year

While some school districts in the Greater Houston area are doing away with face mask requirements and virtual schooling completely, others are pivoting to continue offering online learning options for students and plan to require face masks.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to last April with 9,105 units sold versus 6,175 a year earlier. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
HAR: Houston-area home sales in April up 47% compared to last year

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to April 2020.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
County commissioners expand scope of flood tunnel study as next phase nears completion

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou.

Middle School No. 10 will open in August 2022. (Rendering courtesy Humble ISD's presentation for the community input meeting)
Humble ISD trustees approve attendance boundaries for incoming Middle School No. 10

Middle School No. 10 will open in August 2022 near Ridge Creek Elementary School.

Russo's New York Pizzeria will open its second location in the Lake Houston area in New Caney. (Courtesy The Signorelli Co.)
Russo's New York Pizzeria to make June debut in Valley Ranch Town Center

The Italian eatery—located in the space formerly occupied by RC's NYC Pizza & Pasta—will also feature an outdoor patio.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

The Woodforest Bank Stadium vaccine hub is set to close June 3. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County announces last day for vaccines at Woodforest Bank Stadium

The Woodforest Bank Stadium vaccine hub is set to close June 3. First doses are no longer being provided at the location.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.