Despite an overall budget increase of 4.8 percent and the addition of 34 new county employees, Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a 2019 fiscal year budget that keeps the existing property tax rate of 46.67 cents per $100 home valuation.

Following two public comment hearings, the budget was approved unanimously during a special commissioners court meeting Sept. 5. The budget is balanced with expenditures and revenues totaling $344.4 million each.

This year's budget was the first from the county's budget office, which is a new office created in March. The creation of the county budget previously fell under the duties of County Auditor Phyllis Martin, and as a result of the new office, commissioners approved moving approximately $234,000 in funding from the auditor's office to a contingency fund, with the option to reallocate to the budget office.

Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal said while this year's budget rose 4.8 percent from last year, it remains under the rate of population growth and inflation, which rose by 5.9 percent.

“This means Montgomery County is accomplishing the goals of conservative leaders who have called for the state and other governments to restrain spending below the rate of population and inflation,” Doyal said in a statement. “I am proud of this budget and the work this court put into it, and I am particularly proud of our newly named Budget Officer Amanda Carter, who during our budget workshop demonstrated a detailed knowledge of our county departments and used that knowledge to help us craft this spending plan.”

Highlights from this year's budget include:

  • The county added 34 new county positions, 17 of which will be in law enforcement or the county courts.

  • 44 percent of budget spending goes toward law enforcement, courts and related activities.

  • The county will raise $8.1 million more in property tax revenue than the previous year's budget.

  • The budget includes $55 million in spending on public facilities, including the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, precinct parks, the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center and the county jail.

  • The estimated unemployment rate in Montgomery County is at 3.6 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2017, according to county budget documents.

To view the full budget document, click here.