Citizen Advisory Board
FY 2000 Budget Challenges
This budget includes more than $1,000,000 of increased information technology expenditures, $500,000 for Indigent Health Care, and an additional $423,000 for court appointed attorneys over last years budgeted amount.
General Fund Budget Comparison
The Commissioners Court eliminated positions (11 net), reorganized departments, and reduced capital expenditures in several areas. The net result is over $1,500,000 in cost reductions. Additionally, the Court elected to discontinue the merit compensation program and forego a cost of living adjustment for employees. That generated net savings of over $1,000,000 in the budget.
The debt service tax rate remains at 5.7 cents per hundred-dollar valuation. This rate will maintain fund balances in the debt service funds at their proper maintenance levels. Commissioners Court decided to issue certificates of obligation during the coming fiscal year, an additional ½ cent will be required for debt service. This additional rate will be required for at least four years. I voted against the debt-financed capital projects because I thought they were too aggressive for such a tight budget year.
Since the adoption of the FY 1999 budget last September, there has been an over-all decrease of 2½ full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). The County added 8½ FTEs (7½ in Juvenile Probation and 1 in Information Technology) during the year last year. Therefore, the net decrease in County positions with this budget is 10 FTEs. Our employee FTE count currently stands at 1,112.25.
The largest decrease in FTEs was in the Health District (8). This was closely followed by the reorganization of the Countys administration that resulted in a decrease of 7½ FTEs. Increases in staff occurred in the Information Technology Department (3 FTEs), District Attorney and County Clerk offices for an impact court (5 FTEs), and the Tax Assessor Collectors office (2 FTEs).
This budget includes a 2½ cent (2.38 cents in the General Fund) increase to the tax rate. This is the first tax rate increase for Galveston County since the FY 1996 budget approved in September of 1995. Although assessed values increased about 3% this year; the average increase in assessed values over the last four years has been about 1.5%. These modest property increases have managed to keep pace with the general inflation rate experienced in the County; however,
County government spending has grown even faster.
The FY 2000 budget includes a general Budgeted Fund Balance of $500,000 that can be tapped for general emergency situations. An additional $4,000,000 is to be reserved on the balance sheet for potential emergency situations. These reserves include a $1,000,000 general liability reserve, a $1,750,000 disaster reserve and a $1,250,000 reserve for potential lawsuits concerning property valuations.
The "County Budget Update" at the League City Annex was well attended. Look for our next Town Hall Meeting!
Phone: 281.316.8745 - fax: 281-3.316-2000
174 Calder Rd., League City, TX 77573
Friday, July 18, 2003