Monday, September 5, 2011


The final hearing on the proposed 2012 Milam County Budget will be held September 7th at 6:00 pm in the Commissioners Courtroom. My last blog referred to this and again I stress the importance that the public attend and hear about the budget.

Judge Barkemeyer's article dated August 31 used some very interesting calculations that one might call more of a political spin than the real facts. He states the following in his article:

"The four Commissioner’s Precinct Budgets on first glance appear to have been increased by one and a quarter million collectively to $6,345,057 total. However, when you back out the allowance for reserve accounts, the actual budgeted amount remains essentially the same with 2011 budget without reserves being $4,520,448 and 2012 being $4,495,792, slightly less. So bottom line, our planned total budget for 2012 is some $300,000 less than 2011."

Now I am not sure where he gets his figures or why he indicated something can be backed out of a budget to balance it. Why not back out the $300,000 in reserve in the general fund and then claim a bottom line savings of $600,000?

The real figures are contained in the proposed budget available online. The grand total for General fund and Precinct funds for the 2012 budget is $16,639,883.47, and the grand total for this year's budget is $15,678,995.98. While math was not my best subject in school I did learn to do the simple stuff like add and subtract. Bottom line in the budget shows an increase of $960,887.49. That's the real bottom line.

Furthermore, the official proposed budget states that the 2012 budget will raise a total of $1,187224.48 or 1.17% more in total property taxes than this year's budget. So, again the math just does not add up. If we actually cut the budget as Judge Barkemeyer proclaims in his article by $300,000 you add that to the increased take in property taxes there should be over 1.4 million dollars hanging around somewhere, and a part of that should be returned to the taxpayers in a tax rate reduction.

As I said math was not my best subject, but this is pretty easy. I just wonder if Judge Barkemeyer's calculations are a result of his math skills being less than mine or if in his opinion we are really that stupid, or maybe it is just Austin or Washington DC math.

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