Commentary

JUDGE’S COMMENTS

New county budget ‘most challenging yet’
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

Budget planning for 2014 is well under way, all elected officials and department heads have met with me to discuss their budget needs, and auditor Danica Lara has incorporated all those requests into a trial run budget for next year for commissioner’s court consideration.

The five of us have met twice now in workshop discussions preparing our proposal which is due for public display on Aug. 9.

The county certified tax roll is due from the Milam County Tax Assessor’s Office on July 25, which will allow us to make a final estimate of anticipated rev- enue for 2014 which is critical to finalizing our budget proposal. The proposed budget will be on display at the county clerk’s office and on our web site at www.milamcounty.net after August 9.

In late August I plan to again discuss the budget with you in community communication meetings around the county as I did last year.

Last year I said I thought 2013 would be our last time to struggle financially and then we’d begin to see the light.

Wrong, 2014 is by far the most challenging as you will see when the budget is presented.

We have a long way to go to close the gap between revenue and expenses this year.

I anticipate that our tax base will have again shrunk significantly due primarily to an anticipated reduction in Luminant’s assessed value resulting in less tax revenue.

Grant revenue continues to decrease as well while on the expense side we must plan for the potential costs of an expensive murder trial appeal process. So major uncer taint y is involved on both the revenue side as well as the expense side of the budget equation, yet the commissioners court must establish a budget for 2014 that will affect your tax rate as well as county employee’s jobs and their pay several months in advance of when that budget goes into effect.

We will use our best judgment in making those decisions.

But please recognize that circumstances may very well change significantly between now and January. dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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2013-07-25 digital edition



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