The Hockley County Commissioners began budget workshops last week for the 2021 fiscal year.
As budget workshops began, Hockley County Judge Sharla Baldridge reminded the commissioners that preliminary values show the county values to be down by about five percent.
Tommy Cleavinger, commissioner for Precinct No. 4, also pointed out that the legislature has capped tax rate increases for counties at 3.5 percent without going to an automatic rollback election.
Judge Baldridge said because of this, she had sent a memo to all department heads requesting that they cut where they can, as they would rather have control over their cuts rather than allow for commissioners to make cuts to their budget.
The first department budget that was reviewed by commissioners was that of the Office of the District Attorney for the 286th District Court, submitted by Angela Overman, district attorney.
Commissioners took note that Overman was requesting a $70,000 increase in her budget, of which $20,000 was for benefits for the office’s investigator.
Shirley Pinner, auditor, said those benefits are already calculated by the auditor’s office and are not a line item in department budgets.
Without that item, the office was seeking a $50,000 increase in the budget.
Commissioners asked Overman to present her budget to commissioners at Monday’s meeting.
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