The Navarro County Commissioners Court ended weeks of workshops and meetings Monday with the final approval of the county budget starting Oct. 1.
Commissioners also officially adopted the county’s combined ad valorem tax rate of .6270 per $100 taxable valuation, unchanged from the present year.
The budget adopted by the court includes a deficit of just over $1 million. However, commissioners have passed budgets with deficits of over $800,000 in each of the last two years — the 2012 budget came in “in the black” and County Auditor Kathy Hollomon said Monday the 2013 budget that closes Sept. 30 will be in the black as well.
Hollomon said with tax collections that were higher than expected plus revenues from the Home Depot Distribution Center lawsuit settlement and savings in several departments, the county could see a surplus of as much as $1 million at the end of the current fiscal year.
County Commissioner Dick Martin thanked Hollomon and all the people involved in the preparation of the new budget, one that found commissioners battling a decline in the total taxable value of property in the county with the impact of the closing of Home Depot Distribution Center and Lance finally hitting the tax rolls.
The next big decision for the county - the proposed restoration of the Navarro County Courthouse - will be made by voters, who will be asked to decide on Nov. 5 whether or not to approve a $7.5 million bond issue to help fund the county's share of the restoration work. A state grant of $4.4 million, plus a $1 million pledge from the Navarro Community Foundation are also available to help fund the project should voters approve the bond.