County budget has three-cent tax hike
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

The proposed county budget for 2014 has been prepared and will be posted for public viewing at the County Clerk’s Office and on the county website at on Friday, August 9.

Unfortunately we are proposing an increase in the county tax rate this year of 3 cents to 63 cents per $100 of valuation due primarily to the drop in the county tax base of some $80 million along with the anticipated costs associated with the murder trial.

In addition to the tax increase, the county is balancing the budget by reducing personnel and by not giving any pay increases in 2014.

Even with the tax increase, the county budget for 2014 will total $18.0 million vs. $18.3 million in 2013, ($15.0 vs. $15.1 million without reserves) which means we’re actually decreasing the budget again in 2014.

MEETINGS—I will begin the Community Communication meetings next week to discuss the proposed budget with you.

Here is the schedule (all times are 6:30 p.m.):

• Aug. 14—Community Center, 110 W. Main. Buckholts.

• Aug. 15—Community Center, FM 487, Davilla.

• Aug. 19—Milam County Courthouse, Cameron.

• Aug. 20— Community Center/ Fire Station, 102 W. Ave. E, Milano.

• Aug. 22—One Stop Center, 313 N. Main, Rockdale.

• Aug. 26—Fire Dept. Building Meeting Room, Gause.

• Aug. 27—Chamber of Commerce, 120 S. Main, Thorndale. You can also see the schedule on the website at I hope you’ll take time to attend one of these sessions.

PROBATION—At the last commissioners court meeting Michelle Poston began our series of departmental presentations giving an overview of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department, also known as the Adult Probation Department.

She distributed a summary of her presentation to those present, a copy is posted on the website.

The Adult Probation Department is an integral part of our Milam County law enforcement and correctional process.

At any given time over 300 individuals are on probation from either district or county court and are under the supervision of the staff of this department.

They conduct rehabilitative training on various topics, collect fines and fees, supervise community service, and see that these individuals comply with the terms and conditions of their probation.

At our next commissioners court meeting Aug. 12, Danica Lara will discuss the duties of the county auditor including the current external audit that is under way, our plans for converting back to the accrual method of accounting, and so forth.

You are invited to come and find out more about the auditor function as well as to sit in as the other county business is transacted.

The agenda is always posted in advance on our website as well as on the door of the courthouse in advance of each meeting.

We meet each second and fourth Monday at 10 a.m..

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