Nacogdoches County plans on raising taxes, cutting positions

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County commissioners face a $2 million shortfall for the next fiscal year budget. Judge Joe English attributes it to a drop in oil and gas revenue, a once healthy fund reserve now tapped out, and a drop in fines and fee revenue. The judge provides a threefold approach to compensate the losses.

"We are eliminating some positions in the county," English said. "We are going up on taxes and we're still taking out about $600,000 out of reserves to balance that budget."

The tax rate is likely to go up two cents, but it's the proposed cuts creating more discussion.

The sheriff's department stands to lose the most, including two investigators and two part time jailers.

"What we did is try to look at positions as people quit and not replace those positions," he said.

Pct 4 Commissioner Elton Milstead objects to the law enforcement cuts.

"We're fixing to get to a point that we're gonna have cases piled up and they're gonna start just continuing to pile up and get farther and farther behind," he said.

Pct 4 stands to lose a deputy constable. It's the jurisdiction Constable Jason Bridges will leave in January when he becomes sheriff.

"I would ask that we do a budget workshop on it," Milstead said.

For the first time in years there were no summer budget workshops. English says public discussion of possible cuts leads to anxiety by affected employees. The judge says he encouraged commissioner input.

"It's up to the commissioners to decide how much involvement they want to be in the budget process," English said.

Other budget changes include not replacing a clerk in the tax assessor's office, a secretary in the district attorney's office and reducing elections and security by one employee ea

A glance at the budget gave the impression to some the court is receiving a pay raise in the midst of cuts. No one is getting a pay increase.Tthe salary bottom-line increased as the court is hiring an additional secretary.

The Nacogdoches County budget is on the county website or can be viewed at the county judge's office.

A public hearing will be Sept. 25 at 8 a.m.

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