Commissioners adopt FY ’19 budget

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Wise County commissioners Monday adopted a budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2019.

The budget totals $60 million and will be funded in part by a property tax rate of 36 cents per $100 property valuation.

Although the tax rate is 1.89 cents less than last year, property owners could still see an increase in their tax bill, depending on how much their property values increased.

Highlights from the FY ’19 budget includes the following:

  • 5 percent pay increase for all licensed peace officers at the sheriff’s office. The proposed budget included a 5 percent pay increase for patrol deputies and special enforcement only, but Sheriff Lane Akin decided to transfer funds within the department to give the 5 percent to all sworn officers.
  • 4 percent pay increase for county employees.
  • 10 percent cut to dependent insurance coverage.
  • new clerical position at the district attorney’s office. The DA’s office will contribute $25,000 to the position from one of its special funds.
  • reinstating a field position for 911 addressing.
  • new part-time “floater” job for the tax assessor collector’s office to rotate between the Decatur, Bridgeport and Boyd offices as needed. The position was added to help with the increased workload as the office takes over tax collections in 2019 for all taxing entities in the county.
  • an adjustment in pay so all three court coordinators make the same amount.
  • an adjustment in bailiff pay to match lieutenant pay per a previous county agreement.
  • transfer of funds to increase the salaries of Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty and Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell by $5,000 each on top of the 4 percent raise. County Judge J.D. Clark said the increase would make their salaries comparable to other department heads and would better compensate them since they’re both on call 24/7.

Clark also noted there was a mistake in the county’s ad listing the salaries of elected officials, which ran in the Aug. 29 edition of the Wise County Messenger. To clarify, Akin and County Court-at-Law No. 1 Judge Melton Cude are not accepting a cell phone allowance from the county.

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