The Somervell County Commissioners Court met Monday to schedule public hearings for the proposed tax revenue increase.
“We’re not proposing to increase the tax rate, only the revenue it produces,” said County Judge Walter Maynard.
The county saw a drop in revenue over the year by about $600,000. Maynard attributed the loss to lower interest rates and noted that the county has not sold any land this year. He also said revenues might regain some ground when the new Squaw Creek Golf Course is completed and opens for business.
The county will need to maintain the current tax rate of 31.3 percent to maintain fund balances; however, the Commissioners will also need to increase tax revenue by more than 25 percent to keep afloat.
The proposed budget includes the newly approved Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase and the retirement COLA increase. On Aug. 11, the court passed a resolution providing a $2,080 COLA increase for county employees. They also approved a 30 percent increase for retirees based on the consumer price index.
Somervell County Treasurer Barbara Hudson said the retirees would not see an across-the-board flat rate increase because the amount is based on when an employee retired from the county and inflation rates since that time.
While the increases will help out county employees, current and retired, the boost means the county’s maintenance and operation budget needs to increase by 1.7 percent.
The tax base has increased in the county, with the majority coming from Comanche Peak.
Public hearings for the proposed tax revenue increase are Sept. 2 and 8, at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Courtroom.