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Section A: General News


Pay raises, supply purchases top proposed county budget




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Wilson County News
September 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

SOURCES:
•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
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
September 12, 2012 5:39am
 
With the increased budget for county law enforcement, Andy will be able to give Barney two bullets. :)

 
Juan Two  
September 11, 2012 4:22pm
 
Local Boy I agree with you also but the guy in La Vernia, George Scoggins,hasn't a clue about being a cop except how to drink coffee smoke cigarettes and eat donuts! The other worthless government check collecting constable ... More ›

 
Local Boy  
Floresville  
September 11, 2012 4:04pm
 
Its me...You hit the nail on the head. What a misuse of our tax dollars. These Constables draw a check and do nothing to earn it. Don Stevens just started coming out when he found out someone was running against him. Rodriguez ... More ›

 
concerned person  
Floresville  
September 8, 2012 4:55pm
 
I do agree the courthouse could use a new copy machine. With all the oil & gas people there making copies and the other visitors (including those who work for local businesses needing information) and only one working copy ... More ›

 
BSP  
Floresville  
September 5, 2012 12:18pm
 
I hope they don't use DOCUmation for their copy machine needs.

 
Its Me  
Over Here  
September 5, 2012 8:04am
 
Way to go Sheriff! Way to fight for your people and present the facts related to the reason why a substantial raise is needed for your people. Of course I am being extremely sarcastic! Same ole same ole in Wilson County. All ... More ›

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