Commissioners

From left, Precinct 1 Commissioner Eric Evans, County Judge Bobby Stovall and Precinct 2 Commissioner Randy Strait discussed the upcoming county budget Tuesday

The Hunt County Commissioners Court wrapped up its first review of the upcoming county budget Tuesday, and intends to meet later this week to begin the next phase.

County Judge Bobby Stovall said the first workshops, which began Monday morning, just the starting point for the budget process, as the commissioners began looking over each department.

“We’re just kind of going over the wish list today,” Stovall said.

The once-over was complete by Tuesday afternoon, with a check of the various fund balances in the budget.

County Auditor Tammi Byrd said there is still a “right-of-way” fund in the budget.

“This is used strictly to buy right-of-way,” Byrd said, noting the county used to add to the fund through use of a separate tax, which has not been in effect in more than 30 years. Byrd said there is still a small amount of money in the account, which draws a bit of interest.

The commissioners also discussed plans to include money to pay for the 2020 Census, among other issues, adding $10,000 in the budget for redistricting efforts.

“We have the Census coming up next year,” Stovall said, which will require the county’s precinct lines to be redrawn based on changes in the county’s population. “I want to put some money in there so we could begin to get started on it.”

The commissioners are scheduled to resume the budget workshops at 9 a.m. Thursday n the Auxiliary Courtroom, 2700 Johnson Street in Greenville.

The commissioners adopted a $46.1 million budget, for the current fiscal year which included a property tax rate of 51.1899 cents per $100 valuation, compared to the current tax rate of 51.2469 per $100 valuation. The budget included a 3 percent increase in pay for county employees.

The rate was still considered a more than 11 percent tax increase, because it was above the effective tax rate, the rate at which the county would receive the same amount of revenue as in the previous fiscal year.

A new budget and tax rate must be adopted by the start of the next fiscal year on Oct. 1.