Jim Wells County is currently budgeting a Total Revenue of $14,494,658 for 2016 and Total Expenses of $18,213,195. As unbelievable as it may sound, the County is actually proposing to spend $3,718,537 more than Projected Income for 2016! And that is after raising our Tax Rate 14% in 2015 and another Proposed 6% for 2016 or a 20% Increase in only Two (2) years!
If you ask, “How Can That Happen”? Let me give you a few comparisons of JWC 2016 Proposed Budget Expenses compared to Kleberg County 2016 Proposed Budget Expenses:
JWC 2016 County Judge Expenses ($289,493) less Kleberg County 2016 ($175,273)= + $114,220
JWC 2016 County Court-At-Law Expenses ($665,523) less Kleberg County 2016 ($251,931)= + $413,592
JWC 2016 County Attorney Expenses ($709,990) less Kleberg County 2016 ($284,118)= + $425,872
JWC 2016 County District Attorney Expenses ($934,681) less Kleberg County 2016 ($183,700)= + $750,981
The total 4 above comparisons is an excess of +$1,704,665 JWC 2016 Expenses over Kleberg County (for comparable services).
It is obvious that Jim Wells County DOES NOT know the “Definition of Cutting Spending”. For at least the last 2 years, anyone with a brain could see the County Sales Tax Receipts and Tax Base, “MOVING OUT” (at least $2 Million in Reduced County Revenue). The County’s Response was to Increase Total Expenses in the General Fund from $15,775,768 (in 2014) to a Total 2016 Proposed Budget Expenses of $18,213,195; an Increase in SPENDING of +$2,437,427. The Results of Reduced Revenue plus Increased Spending where obvious; resulting in Unprecedented Deficit Spending ( ) even after raising the County Tax Rate 20 percent (in 2 years)!
The purpose of this letter is by no means to place the blame on any one person. Hopefully, it will help “Open the Eyes” of all of our Elected Officials to the fact that when Revenues Plummets (like they have); Expenses must be Cut accordingly or the County will go BROKE OR BROKER!
Fortunately, Jim Wells County HAS NOT YET adopted the Proposed General Fund 2016 Budget with a proposed DEFICIT: THEY CAN STILL ADOPT A 2016 Budget WITH THE REQUIRED SPENDING “CUTS”!
May God Help the Taxpayers that have not moved out of Jim Wells County, YET.
Sincerely, Newell W. Atkinson III (a very Concerned JWC Taxpayer)