Erath County Commissioners adopt budget, tax rate for 2020-21

Ashley Inge

Erath County Commissioners met on Monday to discuss the proposed county budget and tax rate for the 2020-21 tax year.

The tax rate was set at .4444, which is .0116 lower than last year’s rate.

The tax levy was set at .3348 for general operations, .0139 for debt service and .1096 for road and bridge/flood control rate.

The general operations fund is used to fund all county operations (except precinct activities), including health care for indigent persons and inmates at the jail.

Debt service is collected to pay for long-term debt (jail expansion project in 2010). The balance for the jail is $2.385 million. The annual payment for 2021 will be $542,462.

Road and bridge, sometimes called the flood-control rate, is collected and divided among the four precincts for road maintenance and related precinct activities.

The court also adopted the final county budget for 2020-21, which is $26.309 million.

“The 2021 budget will raise more property taxes than last year's budget by $841,639, which is a 5.14% increase, and of that amount $279,873 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year,” Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos wrote in his report.

New items in the budget include:

• Two new deputies for the Erath County Sheriff’s Office

• Funding for renovations to the Donald R. Jones Justice Center so it can house all the county court functions and services.

• Funding for a county-wide financial software system.

• Funding to pay to the Texas District and County Retirement System to reduce the retirement liability owed by the county.

• Funding for design and construction of a new county office building at Virginia/College Street.

“I thank you for your support of the county during these unpredictable times,” Campos said. “We choose to live here. Let’s do our part to keep making it a better place, the best place to live in the best state in this great country. I extend my thoughts and prayers for our communities.”