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Pay raises, supply purchases top proposed county budget
Wilson County NewsSeptember 5, 2012 | 1,830 views | 6 comments
In addition to new deputies and vehicles for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Wilson County’s proposed $15,079,190 budget for the 2013 fiscal year also includes salary increases for all county workers. The Wilson County Commissioners Court reviewed the budget -- which likely will change before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 --with interim County Auditor Verna Gorzell during its Aug. 27 meeting.
Gorzell said current deputies who are paid less than $30,000 per year would have their salaries increased to the greater of either that figure or 3 percent more than their current salary. Remaining deputies could see a 3-percent salary increase.
Jailers and dispatchers who currently make less than $24,000 could see their pay increased to the greater of either that figure or 3 percent more than their current salary.
According to a legal notice related to the salary increases, which was printed in the Aug. 29 edition of the Wilson County News, salaries for the county’s four precinct constables could increase by approximately 9.14 percent. They currently are paid $19,080 each, but would be brought up to $21,000 per year.
The county’s four precinct commissioners are set to see an approximately 3.01- percent raise in pay, when their current $54,456 annual salaries increase to $56,100.
In addition to their regular county salary, elected officials receive varying reimbursements of as much as $1,200 annually for business use of a personal telephone. They also receive an additional annual supplement of $100 for each year they have been employed with the county.
The wage for a county commissioner is more than the median earnings for full-time, year-round workers who claimed Wilson County as a residence, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey. In that survey, the median income for men was $44,749 and the median income for women was $35,137.
In addition to wages for the county’s approximately 150 workers, taxpayers also fund individual health-insurance coverage for county employees. According to preliminary numbers prepared by former Auditor Ray Wolff, the county is projecting spending $850 per month for individual health insurance for each employee -- a cost of more than $1.5 million for the year.
The county’s current budget is being supported by an ad valorem tax rate of 45.33 cents per $100 of assessed property value. While the commissioners have yet to propose a tax rate, the consensus among them Aug. 27 was that the rollback rate of 46.57 cents would be proposed. If this becomes the tax rate, the average property owner would see a $25.97 increase in their tax bill. This is because in 2011, the average taxable value of a residence was $140,995, according to the Wilson County Appraisal District, meaning the average tax bill was $639.13.
This year, the appraisal district’s preliminary data indicates the average value of a residence in Wilson County is $142,818. If the county adopts a 46.57-cent tax rate, the average tax bill will increase to $665.10.
Some other items being considered for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget include:
•County Clerk Eva Martinez has requested a second copy machine at an estimated cost of up to $11,000.
•A new copy machine to be shared by the county treasurer, auditor, human resources, and tax assessor/collector’s offices, at a cost of $2,500 for each office, Gorzell said. The tax assessor/collector’s office also is requesting an additional computer, for which they’ve budgeted approximately $2,000.
•District Clerk Deborah Bryan has requested an additional $3,000 in office supplies.
•Wilson County Courthouse repairs: $500,000.
•Elections office: Martinez, who also serves as the county’s election judge, has requested a dedicated electrical circuit, a barcode scanner, and increasing part-time employee Rose Pruski’s pay from $10.50 per hour to $12.50 per hour -- an increase of more than 19 percent.
•LeAnn Hosek, coordinator of the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, has requested a part-time employee to assist with emergency-management planning and volunteer coordination. The employee would work up to 24 hours per week and be paid $12.50 per hour.
•Texas AgriLife Extension Agency’s Wilson County office wants to replace a pickup truck.
Numbers tell story of county’s proposed FY ’13 budget
•Proposed budget: $15,079,190*
•Proposed ad valorem tax rate: 46.57 cents per $100 of assessed value*
•Current ad valorem tax rate: 45.33 cents per $100 of assessed value
•Percentage increase: 2.74*
•Average taxable value for residence (2011): $140,995
•Average tax bill (2011): $639.13
•Average taxable value for residence (2012): $142,818
•Average tax bill, assuming 46.57-cent tax rate: $665.10*
•Average increase of tax bill, assuming 46.57-cent tax rate: $25.97 or 4.06 percent*
•Current annual precinct commissioner salary: $54,456
•Proposed precinct commissioner salary: $56,100
•Percentage increase for precinct commissioner salary: 3.01
•Number of county employees: Approximately 150
•Amount budgeted, per employee, for employee health insurance: $850 per month ($10,200 per year)
•Total budgeted for employee health insurance for FY ’13: More than $1.5 million
*These figures subject to change
•Proposed Wilson County county budget, www.co.wilson.tx.us, last accessed Aug. 27
•Notice of Publication of Salaries of Elected Officials, Aug. 29, Wilson County News
•Wilson County Appraisal District, July 26
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