Jones Creek sign

JONES CREEK — After property values bounced back from Hurricane Harvey’s impact, Jones Creek will lower its tax rate by more than 5 cents but earn more revenue than last year.

The adopted rate for the fiscal year beginning today is 41.13 cents per $100 of property value, the budget states. Last year’s rate was 46.27 cents per $100 of property value, an effect of certified appraisal rolls “dipping after Hurricane Harvey,” Mayor Gordon Schlemmer’s proposed budget states.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to adopt the budget and tax rate at a meeting Friday night, with Alderman Justin Wright absent.

The budget and tax rate were much-discussed, Alderman Terry Jeffers said.

“We were running later than normal. … I’m glad that we got it put to bed,” Jeffers said.

The Friday meeting became necessary after flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda forced the Sept. 17 session to be canceled. The budget and tax rate become effective with the new fiscal year today.

The adopted tax rate will bring in 5.17 percent more revenue “to meet a $280,000 need in generated revenue,” the budget states.

The city also will use revenue from previous years’ fund balance, which includes money from selling city-owned property on Highway 36, according to the proposed budget.

The village tries to keep its spending down to offer the best possible tax rate, Schlemmer said.

“We all pay taxes, just like everybody else,” he said.

Some of the additional revenue will go toward pay raises for employees, which they try to give each year because they have great employees, Schlemmer said.

Pay raises will be decided by department heads or the mayor based on multiple factors, including merit, the budget states.

Jones Creek has nine full-time and 10 part-time employees, according to the budget. The budget includes an additional $53,209 from last year to pay the eight full-time and four part-time members of the marshal’s office, totaling $324,304 in payroll for that department.

Administration, which includes two full-time employees, will get a $4,394 increase, the budget states.

The adopted budget shows a $70,253 total increase in salary expenditures from last fiscal year.

Any increased revenue is spread throughout the budget on multiple necessities, Alderwoman Nicole Hardesty said.

The budget accounts for new software and/or computer equipment for the marshal’s office to store video and other technological advances throughout the village, it states. Other new expenditures include monitoring for a recently installed alarm system, software for court and utility payments, and employee training, according to the budget.

The creation of Emergency Services District 6 will save the village $30,000 in emergency medical service expenses, the budget states.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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