Wichita County Commissioners approve 2020 budget and tax rate increase

News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After several public hearings, work sessions and a revised publication reflecting a desired two-cent increase, Wichita County has now adopted the 2020 tax rate and budget. It will cost, for example, about $37.44 on a home valued at $100,000.

Commissioners could have kept the rate the same as last year at more than $.65. But after miscalculated tax rate publication deadlines and looking at the balance of the permanent improvement fund, below $2 million, among other factors, it was decided that if approved, the county tax rate would be set at more than $.67.

“We did several construction projects, we did the big thing which was over two million dollars, which was to redo the HVAC systems in the courthouse and the annex. But, the energy savings will eventually reduce and should pay back over a 20 year period, about the time they have to be replaced again,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.

The tax rate will also help with elevator renovations at the courthouse itself, plus pay salaries and do more.

Starting next year, however, increases like the almost 6% increase won’t be able to made by the commissioners court itself.

“The legislature has reduced local governments to a limit of counties to 3.5% increase or an automatic election,” Gossom said.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mark Beauchamp was the lone dissenting vote Monday. He said he voted as he did due to how certain salary issues were addressed, as well as wanting to advocate for holding the line on taxes.

“I understand why we did what we did. I couldn’t… knowing my goal going in was to keep the tax rate set at where we were at or below… I couldn’t agree to that,” Commissioner Beauchamp said.

Despite Beauchamp’s vote, the majority rules and has now set the county’s budgeting in motion.

Judge Gossom also said without any other revenue coming in, the county could hit the $.80 cent tax cap in about eight years, which could result in reductions in some county services. Gossom added that could be avoided with the creation of county assistance district, keeping about $1 million dollars annually in the county, but voters have voted that idea down– twice.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Man indicted with allegedly assaulting terminally ill father

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man indicted with allegedly assaulting terminally ill father"

Vernon city employees still uncertain about being able to carry

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vernon city employees still uncertain about being able to carry"

Cell phone case that feels like human skin

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cell phone case that feels like human skin"

KFDX "Cutest Kid in Costume" contest

Thumbnail for the video titled "KFDX "Cutest Kid in Costume" contest"

Wichita Falls Community Foundation celebrates 20 years of service

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wichita Falls Community Foundation celebrates 20 years of service"

Flu Shots and PCP's

Thumbnail for the video titled "Flu Shots and PCP's"

Officials hope to keep school buses "the safest form of student transportation"

Thumbnail for the video titled "Officials hope to keep school buses "the safest form of student transportation""

Vernon City Commission meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vernon City Commission meeting"

Yoga enthusiasts stretch their way to a cure

Thumbnail for the video titled "Yoga enthusiasts stretch their way to a cure"

Best Buy

Thumbnail for the video titled "Best Buy"

Longtime philanthropist Kay Dillard passes away

Thumbnail for the video titled "Longtime philanthropist Kay Dillard passes away"

Homeless man arrested after allegedly assaulting children with gun

Thumbnail for the video titled "Homeless man arrested after allegedly assaulting children with gun"