Brewster County Commissioners Court will meet tomorrow to discuss the 2015 Budget that will include a nearly 18 percent increase in property tax revenue.
The increase in property taxes will fund new items such as a new $4,800 per commissioner car allowance and a $8,000 budget for commissioner travel and training.
And now for some political satire!
Using current Internal Revenue Service deduction allowance of .56 cents per mile, the $4,800 is the equivalent deduction of driving 8,571 miles annually or about 285 miles for each of the approximately thirty times the court meets or attends an occasional ribbon cutting ceremony.
Currently, all commissioners and the county judge reside in Alpine. With little actual travel to Commissioners Court, here are other ways the Commish’ Court can drive the 8,571 equivalent miles. Alpine to Austin, 804 miles round trip 10.6 times. Alpine to Terlingua 165 miles round trip 51.6 times. Alpine to Disneyland, 2014 miles round trip 4.2 times. Sea World did not make the cut due to political incorrectness.
At the insistence of the county auditors, the commissioner court budget will be separated from the Road and Bridge Department budget and is now a stand alone budget.
For 2015, the commissioners will receive $88,981 in salary or an average of $22,245 each, plus $42,184 in health insurance and $15,648 in retirement.
According to a 2012 survey of commissioner salaries by the Texas Association of Counties, Brewster County Commissioners were paid an average of $19,901 each. An analysis by the Gazette reveals this is far less than the average $30,270 salary commissioners receive in similar population sized counties. The study also indicated car allowances for commissioners is not uncommon. The study did not specify if health insurance and retirement benefits for commissioners is a common practice. A forthcoming Gazette survey of commissioner compensation will address this.
Jeff Davis County Commissioners are paid $400 annually.
The meeting is open to the public.
CALLED MEETING OF THE BREWSTER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT
FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014, AT 9:00 A.M.
BREWSTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE, COMMISSIONERS COURTROOM
6TH & AVE E
To Discuss and Take Action as Appropriate
PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED 2015
BREWSTER COUNTY BUDGET
1. Review of 2015 Proposed Budget
2. Public Comment regarding 2015 Proposed Budget
3. Discussion among members of Commissioners Court and Public
NOTE: This proposed budget will raise more total property taxes than last year’s budget
By $ 395,762, (18%), and of that amount, $ 37,209.97, is tax revenue to be raised
from new property added to the tax roll this year.
2nd PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING TAX RATE
To discuss and take action as appropriated on the following:
1. Public Hearing regarding the Proposed 2014 Tax Rate
Maintenance & Operation .321751
Interest & Sinking .076825
Total Rate Proposed .398576
a. Opportunity for Public Comment
b. Discussion among Members of Commissioners Court