WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -Wichita County approves the 2020 budget and a tax increase for property owners.
The 5.9 percent increase means that property owners will pay an additional $37.44 annual for every $100,000 their property is worth. Commissioners agree they hate to raise taxes but its necessary.
“$600,000 is going to mental health in the jail. Those things that are completely out of our control because of the Sandra Bland Act. Those are some things we wished we had some control over but we just don’t,” said County Commissioner Mark Beauchamp.
Wichita County Commissioners agree they don’t like to raise taxes but the county has to have the revenue for the new jail, aging infrastructure repairs, and new equipment for the courthouse. Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said there were some things in the tax increase he was not in favor of. One he hoped for a lower increase two he’s not a fan of the way salary increases were spread out.
“There were several things in salary lines that I would have like to be able to do that we didn’t do that’s why my vote was against salary,” said Beauchamp.
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom acknowledges that while they know taxpayers won’t be thrilled about the increase but says they had to do some now because of he not ready to look at the alternative.
“We are going to pay for the jail operations one way or another. Now the thing that’s coming and coming very soon I’d say in the next coming year is we are going to have to start looking at prioritizing services,” said Judge Woody Gossom.
He adds that this five-point nine percent increase is still far less than comparable counties.
“If you are a homeowner with a property of 100 thousand dollars it’s going to cost you $37.00 a year. There are not many people that can tell you what they did with that $3.50 a month,” said Gossom.
Funds raised will cover road repairs, crumbling infrastructure, and allow them to replenish the permanent budget account to any unforeseen emergencies.