For immediate release
CONROE, JULY 28, 2017 - County Judge Craig Doyal announced the county is streamlining its operations and providing crucial property tax relief in the $328.7 million budget proposed Friday at the conclusion of the county’s budget workshops.
By streamlining in other departments, the county still was able to strengthen law enforcement with more than 50 new employees.
The county has been conducting workshops since Tuesday to squeeze dollars out of its budget to accommodate a 20 percent homestead exemption approved earlier this year. The budget reflects a 5.51 percent cut from last year’s $347 million budget, but still provides additional resources for law enforcement.
“This budget provides real, meaningful tax relief, and provides efficient, county government sufficient to keep pace with the demands of a fast-growing county,” Judge Doyal said.
“We heard the taxpayers saying they wanted some relief, and this budget accomplishes that. We reduced our budget 5.51 percent in the 7th-fastest growing county of its size in the nation, while at the same time providing greater resources for law enforcement and improvement to public safety countywide."
The county tax rate remains the same at 46.67 cents per $100 valuation.
The main features of the proposed budget include:
- A 5.51 percent cut in spending
- A 20 percent homestead exemption for property taxpayers
- Maintaining the tax rate at its current 46.67 cents
- A total of 56 ½ new employees – all but three of which are for law enforcement;
- No raises for employees
- An additional $1.07 million toward the county’s capital improvement fund – bringing the balance to $13.29 million – and enabling the county to tackle some projects without having to incur debt.
- Funding the county’s retirement program at 89.43 percent – meaning the county is avoiding the problems of under-funded retirements programs that many cities face
“I appreciate the hard work of our elected officials, department heads, the employees themselves, and commissioners this year to prepare this proposed budget and provide essential services,” Judge Doyal said. “This has been a positive budget year."
The county will have a series of public hearings Aug. 8, Aug. 22 and Sept. 5 on the proposed budget and tax rate.