Travis County Commissioners Court is scheduled to hold a public hearing July 31 on a plan to raise the base salaries of elected officials—including their own—who are not under a state-mandated salary cap by 3.5 percent.
The court voted 4-1 to move forward with the raise. Commissioner Karen Huber opposed, saying the commissioners needed to set an example by not taking a raise during these difficult economic times.
Commissioner Margaret Gomez said that the commissioners do not get a better tax rate. "No one cuts our prices for food or transportation. We have to deal with those expenditures with what we earn. It's about public service, but we have to take care of our families."
The county conducted a market study and compared the salaries of its elected officials to those of Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Williamson counties.
In background documents provided during the meeting, the current county commissioner salary is $92,362, while the market rate is $119,004.
A footnote attached to the background document noted that Huber requested her fiscal year 2013 salary remain at the 2011 rate of $90,109.
The county judge's salary is $111,038, while the market rate is $135,479.
Other positions measured included constables, county clerk, county attorney, county treasurer, sheriff and justice of the peace. The average salary was 7.83 percent less than the market value.
Not all salaries were below market. The Precinct 5 constable ($90,137/$88,468), the county attorney ($154,526/$149,884) and the justice of the peace ($105,000/$94,404) were above market value.