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Local Budget Talks Near Completion

Courtesy Photo

We’re approaching the home stretch for area counties and cities as officials work to finalize the next fiscal year’s budget and conduct public hearings.

On Monday, Fannin County Commissioners voted to lower the tax rate to .60510 beginning October 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The current rate is $.60810. This is the second straight year for tax cuts in the county.

Lamar County officials will move in the other direction, proposing to raise its current rate four cents, the highest without needing voter approval. The jump from .419 cents to .4589 cents per $100 valuation represents an eight percent hike. Commissioners will meet again on the item Aug. 27, with a public hearing set for Sept. 14.

On Tuesday, the Sulphur Springs City Council met to discuss its proposed budget of .44 cents, a slight increase over last year’s rate of .43920. Public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. and Aug. 28 at noon.

On Thursday at 10 a.m., Hunt County citizens are invited to the Auxiliary Courtroom concerning the proposed budget for 2012-2013, which calls for a two cent increase in the county’s property tax of .5075 cents to .5277 per $100 valuation. Officials are seeking a pay raise for each county employee and to maintain the current level of county retirement and health benefits.

And the first of two public hearings on the City of Commerce proposed budget and tax rate will take place during next Tuesday’s regular meeting, beginning at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The second hearing is scheduled during a special meeting on Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The proposed rate of .82 cents is the same as last year. City Manager Marc Clayton says the certified tax roll came in at $279,677,628, an increase of more than $5 million from last year.