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Hidalgo County Commissioners Court adopted the 2015 County Budget at its regular meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 30. Commissioners also set the 2014 Hidalgo County Ad Valorem Tax Rate at $0.59 per $100 of taxable value. This is the 13th year in a row that the County has maintained the tax rate and not increased taxes.
“I am pleased at how county officials and departments came together to keep costs down without affecting the quality of services we provide for our community,” said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, after the budget was adopted.
The total approved budget is as follows; $185.7 million for the general fund, $22.9 million for special revenue funded departments and functions, $19.3 million for debt service (principal and interest), and $28.5 million for enterprise funds (employee health benefits, workers compensation and the jail commissary). This brings the total county budget to $256.4 million.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to the set salaries, allowances, and other compensations for Fiscal Year 2015, which includes an increase in minimum wage to $10.10. A total of 87 positions will benefit from the increase including, 76 individuals employed with the county plus 11 vacant positions. Hidalgo County is among the growing number of public bodies that have increased the minimum wage to comply with President Obama’s recommendation.
“Our County is moving forward in a positive direction. Economic development, higher education and other initiatives mean a brighter future for Hidalgo County and all its residents,” said Garcia. “For our part, we will continue to support economic development while pursuing initiatives that streamline government and increase efficiency.”