At the Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, June 24, a citizen watchdog attended to check out the the county’s proposed 2024-2025 budget. A series of budget workshops have been underway. In order to know what is being discussed, it helps to have an actual copy of the budget. Despite seeking the county auditor’s help in trying to find the proposed budget online, there is no way to actually see the budget. It has yet to be posted anywhere for the public to even view what’s in it. 

Even the County Auditor couldn’t find the budget anywhere on the county’s site.

County Commissioners expect the public to attend four budget workshops (May 30, June 3 and June 5, July 1), as well as the final workshop July 22. Each meeting lasts many hours without ANY documentation available to the public that would allow a person to follow anything they’re actually discussing. It’s like trying to discern a code only they know.

So taxpayers who work every day (the same workers who ultimately pay the county’s bills) must drop everything and spend their summer watching these nearly unintelligible workshops and then come give any comment/input to commissioners at their two regular monthly commissioners court meetings. The only budget hearing that even allows public comment is the final workshop on Monday, July 22 at 2 PM, which will occur after the budget has basically been finalized and public comment is just checking a box before final approval.



So while the county drags its feet in being transparent with the taxpayers who are footing the bill, expecting all of us to sit through five budget workshops in order to have any clue about what is even being proposed, LIA got to work revising a letter suggested by our partners at Grassroots America – We the People (in Smith County) that all Texas residents send to their county commissioners asking for zero-based budgeting and cutting spending in order to lower the tax burden on Texas families across this state. Liberty in Action delivered this letter Friday, June 28 to the County Judge and every county commissioner.

Commissioner Rich Paces responded immediately and is in agreement with the sentiment of our letter and the need to tighten the county’s belt.

We cannot allow the county judge and commissioners
to keep the budget documents
from the public’s view.

How can citizens give feedback on something they cannot see for themselves? Even if a citizen had the time to watch every single minute of every single budget workshop and still make a living, you wouldn’t be able to follow much of what they’re saying. Since YOU’RE not given access to the documents they’re all looking at, you can’t follow what they’re discussing nor discern what’s being proposed, what’s changing, and how that compares to the last budget. Most importantly, you can’t know the property tax implications of their actions until it’s too late!



Kerr County Budget Workshops

1) Watch the budget workshops. 

2) Read our LIA letter to the commissioners for ideas for public comment.

3) Demand taxpayers be given the proposed budget in a user-friendly format

The proposed budget needs to be in a format where citizens can see the proposed fiscal year 2025 (FY25) figures and the percent increase or decrease from FY 24 for every department, along with any proposed new debt, outstanding debt, then, lastly, the overall total proposed budget and the cost to taxpayers for FY25 compared to FY 24’s budget with the property tax increase or decrease associated with those changes.

Be sure to share your financial struggles and how you expect the commissioners and the county to tighten their belts just as we have had to do.

After two years of across the board pay raises for themselves and all county employees, no salary increases should even be on the table at this point. Give them a HARD NO on pay increases.

Any absolutely necessary increase for non-salary related expenses should be offset by a cut in spending elsewhere. Taxpayers deserve a tax cut and in order to do that, commissioners need to CUT the overall tax rate in order to offset the increase to your home’s appraised value (which will increase your property taxes unless the commissioners act).

In addition to many county departments wanting a further bump in pay, Judge Kelly and the city of Kerrville want to start a public transit system with YOUR tax dollars, creating a never ending sink hole in both the county and city’s budgets. No public transit system in Texas pays for itself with user fees. Every single one has to be eternally subsidized with YOUR tax dollars to pay for a system you likely will never use. Imagine getting stuck behind buses everywhere you go in our already clogged downtown areas like Sidney Baker? If you don’t speak up NOW, this will be your new reality

Contact Commissioners NOW!

Kerr County Commissioners Court

Judge Rob Kelly
(830) 792-2212

Anne Overby
Commissioner, Precinct 1
(830) 792-2213

Rich Paces
Commissioner, Precinct 2
(830) 343-9107

Jonathan Letz
Commissioner, Precinct 3
(830) 792-2216

Don Harris
Commissioner, Precinct 4
(830) 792-2217

Contact all the commissioners in one email at: commissioners@co.kerr.tx.us

Stay tuned and get engaged on the budget process or be taken to the cleaners or worse — the poor house!