By FREDDY JIMENEZ
Special to the NEWS
According to public notices, County commissioners will deliberate over a proposed tax increase as well as a pay raise for a variety of the county’s elected officials.
On Tuesday, August 20, a public hearing for the two aforementioned topics will take place at 9 a.m. in the County Commissioner’s Courtroom of the Dancy Building in Brownsville, located at 1100 East Monroe Street. The second public hearing will also be at 9 a.m. on September 3.
County Commissioners will consider a proposal to increase total tax revenues from properties on the tax roll in the preceding tax year by 08.997927 percent. “Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the change in the taxable value of all other property and the tax rate that is adopted,” reads the notice.
Commissioners who voted to consider the proposal were Pct. 2 Joey Lopez, Pct. 4 Guz Ruiz, and County Judge Ediberto (Eddie) Trevino. Commissioners Pct. 1 Sofia Benavides and Pct. 3 David Garza voted against the consideration.
In an email exchange with the NEWS, Trevino said, “The action taken by the Court on August 6th, was to publish the tax rate at the rollback rate, which is historically what the Court has done.”
A second county notice outlines a public hearing on the subject of the proposed salary raises for the county’s electected officials for that same August 20 meeting.
According to the notice, commissioners are proposing a salary of $75,000 for themselves with a $5,800 auto allowance and $960 phone allowance, totaling the proposed compensation at $81,760. Pct. 1 Benavides does not receive a phone allowance. The total amount of the increase would be $32,684.
Judge Eddie Trevino would see the most considerable proposed salary change. Currently earning $70,743, Trevino’s proposed salary is $105,00, with an auto allowance of $9,000 and $5,400 for Juvenile Board, the total proposed compensation is $119,400, a $48,657 difference.
In regard to this, Trevino said, “The action taken by the Court on August 6th, was to publish the maximum salary for elected officials. The actual salaries will be set at the meeting of August 20.”
He continued, “County staff had done a survey of comparable counties in Texas and found that salaries for the County Judge and County Commissioners were at the very low end. I want to reiterate that Commissioners’ Court has not set the salaries for elected officials yet. Unfortunately, the Cameron County Commissioner’s Court is the third lowest paid amongst counties with a population of over 100,000 and the lowest with a population of over 300,000.”
“It was certainly not my idea to suggest or even support such a drastic increase for the County Judges’ position, and will not support such. A reasonable review and/or possible increase will be part of the discussion at the Commissioners’ Court Meeting of August 20,” said Trevino.
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