GEORGETOWN – Williamson County’s proposed budget includes 27 new jobs, a 4% cost of living adjustment for employees, and a greater than 17% increase for law enforcement officers.
The total proposed budget is $ 287.5 million, an increase of 7.4% over the budget of $ 267.7 million approved last year.
County spokeswoman Connie Odom said salary increases contribute to the proposed increase from last year’s budget mainly due to cost of living adjustments, a new EMS station in Leander to cater to the growing population in the area, and more money for capital improvements.
The proposed budget is approximately $ 2.6 million for 27 new positions. It has also allocated approximately $ 5.3 million to a cost of living adjustment and a 2% earnings increase for employees outside of law enforcement.
More:The proposed Williamson County tax rate will increase taxes by $ 10 for the average homeowner
Under the proposed budget, approximately $ 1.7 million is allocated for cost of living adjustments and incremental increases for each year of service law enforcement personnel. Correctional officials would also receive a 17% raise in the proposed $ 3 million total budget.
The salary increases and incremental increases for all of the county’s employees will total approximately $ 10.5 million, which is 3.5% of the total proposed budget, said Ashlie Holladay, the county budget officer.
Holladay submitted the draft budget to the Commissioners Court on Tuesday. A copy of the presentation can be found at bit.ly/3ytnPWa.
The commissioners set a proposed maximum total tax rate of 44.1 cents per $ 100 valuation, a reduction from the current rate of 45.9 cents per $ 100 valuation. The committee members can change the proposed tax rate at future meetings.
A hearing on the tax rate will take place on August 31 at 10:15 a.m.
State law does not allow local governments to increase their property tax rate by more than 3.5% per year.
The average value of a home in Williamson County with a homestead exemption is $ 307,000 this year, compared with the average value last year was $ 298.00. The county also gained $ 3.5 billion in new commercial and residential value this year, said Larry Gaddes, the county’s tax officer.
If the county were to collect the same tax revenue as it did last year, it would have to cut the tax rate to 39.4 cents per $ 100 valuation.
Before:Williamson County gives law enforcement officers a 17% raise, hires 3 prosecutors
District Judge Bill Gravell on Tuesday called for an 8% increase in the proposed budget for elected officials. The raise would not include district or district judges whose salaries are regulated by law.
Gravell also called for the salaries of police officers, who are also elected officials, to be raised to match the salary received by a justice of the peace. A constable currently makes $ 86,500 a year in the county, compared to a magistrate who gets an annual salary of about $ 91,468.
A study showed the county’s salaries for elected officials other than the district attorney were 14-20% lower than salaries in other markets, Rebecca Clemons, the county’s senior director of human resources,said on Tuesday.
The district attorney’s salary is only 6% lower than in other comparable markets, she said. The district attorney would receive a 4% pay increase on Gravell’s proposal.
The total amount of proposed pay increases for elected officials, including police officers and the district attorney, is $ 116,215, Clemons said
Williamson County’s deputy sheriff chief Ken Evans on Tuesday urged commissioners to raise law enforcement officers’ salaries in the proposed budget.
The county could take the $ 796,194 it allocated for officials’ proposed cost of living adjustment and add $ 1.7 million to give officials a raise, Evans said. The resulting total increase of $ 2.5 million would put officials 1% above the average salary for law enforcement officers in nearby areas, Evans said.
The sheriff’s office is struggling to attract MPs because the district has the lowest salary in the area, Evans said. The city of the cedar park he pays his police 23% more than the sheriff’s deputies get said.
District Attorney Shawn Dick also spoke to the commissioners Tuesday, asking them to add two new posts in his office to the proposed budget. The new positions are a child abuse prosecutor and an appellate prosecutor.
When the prosecution hired its first child abuse attorney three years ago, he was handling 30 to 40 child sexual assault cases a year, Dick said. The number of child sexual assault cases is expected to rise to 110 this year, he said.
Crime is increasing, he said, because the county’s population is growing.
The 27 new jobs in the county budget include an engineer, a paralegal for district courts, a paralegal for family law in the prosecutor’s office, a contract specialist, two tax clerks and three analysts in the IT department.
The proposed positions also include six paramedics, a lieutenant in the rescue service, a coordinator for community engagement, an animal officer, a specialist in open files, two non-commissioned officers in correctional facilities and a paramedic in a sewage treatment plant.
This also includes four rehab workers and an administrative technician, all in the roads and bridges department.
The proposed budget also includes $ 12.7 million for undisclosed capital improvement projects. The proposed budget also includes $ 12 million for the county’s long-distance transport plan and $ 821,000 for the new EMS station in Leander.