Victoria County Commissioners approved the county’s 2022-2023 budget on Monday.
The county tax rate for 2022-2023 dropped to 39.34 cents per $100 in taxable value from 39.59 cents for the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1.
The commissioners approved a budget of just over $70 million, including $48.6 million in the general fund. The budget includes more property tax revenue than last year’s budget by about $2.6 million, or 9.55%. The property tax revenue that must be collected from new properties added to the tax list is $949,763. The concessionary tax rate is 1.8% below the voter approval rate of 40.06 cents and 6.47% above the no new county revenue tax rate.
“I think the budget process this year was a success,” said District Judge Ben Zeller. “We try to be careful without spending money because there are always more needs than available dollars.”
Scholarships for Circle Workers
The county also approved a 5% employee retention stipend for those with one year of regular full-time or regular part-time employment as of December 30, 2022.
Funded positions are eligible for grants, but must be paid 100% from the grant.
Employees leaving the county before January 27 or employees hired after January 1 are not eligible for the grant. Neither do temporary workers.
The scholarships are expected to be paid out by February 10th.
The commissioners also heard from Scott Buchanan, the deputy chief animal control officer, what was going on at the shelter at 122 Perimeter Road. The county is still trying to hire an animal control director. County Commissioner Gary Burns, who serves as Victoria County’s animal control liaison, said the county had received 17 applications for the director’s post.
“We have two good candidates,” Burns said. “Very few of them were experienced. Some had some qualifications but hopefully we should have someone within a few weeks. We have to move forward and find a director.”
The county partnered earlier this month with Austin Pets Alive and American Pets Alive, a nonprofit organization that works to save animal lives and operates no-kill shelters like the one in Austin.
Buchanan said an admission vaccination program was in place and all animals have been vaccinated and dewormed since last week. Buchanan said Austin Pets Alive will fund an intake vaccination technology agency to help with these tasks. He said the shelter could slash the adoption price by $43, with $13 coming from vaccination and Victoria Animal Control Services waiving the $30 adoption fee through the end of this year.
“Victoria Animal Control is committed to encouraging animal adoption and believes this will help drive more adoptions,” Buchanan said.
The District also has four vacancies to appoint for the Victoria Public Library Advisory Council.
The county received a total of 17 applications for the vacancies, and Zeller said the positions should be filled by the end of the month or early October. Jesús Garza, manager of the city of Victoria, said he had received 15 applications to replace the city’s two positions on the board. A decision is expected by October.
“We interviewed several strong candidates today and we will be interviewing more next week and the week after,” Zeller said. “We will have a good list of candidates.”
The Library Advisory Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in the Library’s Bronte Room at 302 N. Main St. in Victoria.
George Coryell, a longtime journalist and local government reporter, likes muscle cars and guns from the 1960s.