County budget shows solid priorities

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New departments, raise balance taxpayer, entity needs

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Last week’s story about the proposed Gillespie County budget showed a forward look by commissioners.

The county will have increased revenue, thanks to increased property valuations and a .8-cent proposed increase in the tax rate (from 39.9 cents to 40.8). With those funds, the county will be proactive.

The county judge and commissioners want to create a human resources department, as well as an elections administration department, which is currently done by the county clerk’s office. Both of those will help the county run its operations more efficiently, while still being respectful of taxpayers’ burden of constantly rising bills (thanks to the attractiveness of local properties).

Over the past year, the county also has added two new justice of the peace positions and two county constable positions, as well as four sheriff’s deputies. A second veterans service officer position also may be added.

Also included was a 3-percent raise for county employees, which will help meet the rising cost of living in this area.

It’s tough to balance the needs and desires of a government and those of taxpayers. We appreciate the county’s balance and forward-looking approach for fiscal 2019. – K.E.C.