As a taxpayer, with opinions that are STRICTLY my own, I wondered why the Somervell County Hospital District came up with a tax rate number without basing it on a budget FIRST. Seems like the cart going before the horse, and in fact, the Texas Comptroller site indicates that "Most Taxing Units adopt a tax rate after adopting their budgets". The general meeting before the public of the entire board had 2 different budgets which were each THREE PAGES LONG and essentially were top level aggregate amounts. Then, the meeting in which Ron Hankins proposed initially setting the tax rate to 12 cents was BEFORE any public hearings about the budget and BEFORE Ray Reynolds and Michael Honea actually supplied a comprehensive budget (link to fhe first public hearing on the tax rate) . The Texas comptroller's site says
Adoption of the tax rate must be a separate item on the agenda for the meeting. State law requires that most counties and general law cities adopt a budget before they adopt the tax rate. These taxing units may adopt a budget and a tax rate at the same meeting as long as the budget is adopted first as a separate item. Counties with a population of more than 225,000 are not required to adopt the budget before adopting a tax rate. Other taxing units should refer to their enabling legislation for specific guidance.
and here, in the schedule for Important Dates
Most taxing units adopt a tax rate after adopting their budgets.
So, here's the budget that the administrators came up with that, in the meeting to be held tonight, is the first time the full budget will be discussed with the full board. (photos from board member's copy)-
and looks like the admins are now following the law, ala Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 286
WHY IS THIS? WHY WAS THE TAX RATE BROUGHT UP IN PUBLIC HEARINGS BEFORE THE BUDGET?????? If the budget, as it was, was THREE DANG PAGES BEFORE and was missing compliance with the law, then how the FOOL can ANYONE set a tax rate for ANY amount?
Although, in our home, I don't do the budget, I have in previous times, done my own budget based on my salary using electronic software. I had to go figure out my weekly, monthly and yearly expenses, including, for example, mortgage payments, insurance, mundane stuff such as the cost of gasoline, automobile wear and tear (tires, new brakes, etc), clothing allowances for work, day care, AND then also have money for unexpected expenses. Then I had to go look at what my salary was and figure out if I needed to cut anything back to accomodate my salary. Might have meant I was going to eat more cheaply, rice and beans style. The way that the hospital district is doing it is as if they're saying that they'll just get some more salary to cover what they want to have before telling anybody what for. It's really bizarre.