• Home

Key takeaways from State of the County address

Posted: Updated:

County Judge Ben Zeller revealed the finalized details of the 2019 County Budget during his State of the County address.

Zeller says the county was able to maintain a healthy $59 million budget despite declining property tax revenue due to Hurricane Harvey. The budget will also include a $39 million dollar General Fund, which is used to pay for most programs the county approve. The county will use $16 million dollars of the budget to support the VCSO with new patrol cars and equipment. The county will also provide a 3% stipend to all county employees. Zeller adds the budget will meet residents needs without raising taxes.

"It's a balanced budget that meets all our needs without increasing taxes. So, we consider that a big accomplishment in this climate and we're real happy to be able to do that."

Zeller says the county's 3.959% tax rate will save taxpayers about $750,000 dollars over the previous year. All of this was possible despite declining revenue from the county jail and property tax revenue. 

During his address, County Judge Zeller also revealed the county's efforts to abolish unfunded mandates were rejected at the state level. Unfunded mandates, Zeller explained, force Texas counties to enact mandates and pay for them using local taxpayer dollars. County Judge Zeller said, despite support from Representative Geanie Morrison to abolish unfunded mandates, the effort was rejected by the Texas State Senate, leaving the county back at square one. 

"Some of those mandates are not bad ideas. Just because something is an unfunded mandate, doesn't mean it's a bad idea or a waste. But, what it does mean is that the local community does not have control over those expenditures. And, certainly, we need to tie accountability and transparency back to government spending."

Zeller adds the county will work with the Association of Counties to renew their efforts to abolish or reduce the burden of unfunded mandates on taxpayers during the state's January legislative session.

    • 2nd Annual Veterans Jingle Bell Run in Victoria

      VICTORIA, Texas- The 2nd Annual Veterans Jingle Bell Run took place Saturday evening at the Post Acute Medical Center, located at 101 James Coleman Dr. 80 runners participated in the 5k, dawning on their most festive running gear. Several vendors came out and donated their time, as did a DJ. Veterans from all branches of the military were in attendance, either working the event or running in the run/walk. Last year, this even raised enough money to put together 100 Christmas ...
    • HEB Kicks Off Toys For Tots 2018

      VICTORIA, Texas- HEB stores in Victoria kicked off Toys For Tots 2018. 

    • What is each state's favorite holiday movie?

      No other American holiday generates entertainment content like Christmas. Thanksgiving? Only if you count football. Halloween? Not there yet—but it’s gaining, Morticia. Valentine’s Day? Romantic comedies are still only an inconvenient fraction of your dating life, just being honest. When it comes to cozying up for the season with tales of giving, receiving, and learning “valuable life lessons” (not to mention fab winter fashions and tie-in toys), you ca...

    • Ex-NFL linebacker Isiah Robertson killed in Texas car crash

      MABANK, Texas (AP) - Former two-time All-Pro linebacker Isiah Robertson was killed when the limousine he was driving skidded on a rain-slicked curve on a dark, rural East Texas highway and was hit by two other vehicles.   

    • Trump responds to Tillerson criticism

      WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is responding to criticism from his former secretary of state Rex Tillerson by calling Tillerson "dumb as a rock" and "lazy as hell." 

    • Torres Elementary receives bike donation

      Christmas presents came early for some students at Torres Elementary.  

    • Update: Mussett refused sexual advances before attack, claims witness

      A key witness of the prosecution took the stand Friday morning in the murder trial of Isaiah Cardenas, the man accused of killing Rachael Mussett.

    • HEB brings back limited edition Selena bags

      HEB has once again released Selena bags. Newscenter 25's Abbi Rocha shows us how simple reusable grocery bags are touching the hearts of Selena fans in the Crossroads.  

    • Flash Flood Watch in effect from noon through 6am Friday

      Flash Flood Watch in Effect From Noon Today through 6 AM Saturday. 

    • Governor Abbott orders increased readiness in response to severe weather in Texas

      AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Operations Center (SOC) to elevate its readiness level as severe weather such as flooding, and winter weather, including snow and ice, are expected to impact parts of the state over the next few days. T

Current Conditions
/