UPDATE: The public will have a chance to provide feedback on El Paso County’s proposed $564.5 million budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The public hearing will be take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21 in the Alicia Chacon County Commissioners Court Courtroom, Room 303 on the third floor of the county courthouse building, 500 E. San Antonio.

ORIGINAL: EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso County Commissioners Court will hold a budget hearing on Monday, Aug. 14, summarizing the $564.5 million budget that is proposed for Fiscal Year 2024.

The meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Commissioners Court Chambers at the El Paso County Courthouse, 500 E. San Antonio, Room 303.

A follow-up hearing, if necessary, will be held during the regular Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, Aug. 21.

A tax rate public hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 with the actual tax rate adoption expected to take place on Monday, Aug. 28 during the regular Commissioners Court meeting.

Here is a statement the County sent out about the proposed budget:

“The FY2024 proposed budget includes community-based initiatives that advance the County
toward the mission and vision set forth by the Commissioners Court. Further, the proposed budget is based on sustainable revenue sources to fund current and future priorities, such as personnel and the Sheriff’s Office collective bargaining agreement, ongoing capital improvement planning (CIP) needs and integrating diverse financing tools for larger projects such as storm water mitigation projects, deferred maintenance projects, mobility projects, and park improvements.

“The proposed budget is an integral component that will allow the County to function effectively
in the current environment and ensure that it is prepared for challenges well in the future. To do
so, this budget will again require the use of a large portion of the fund balance with the expectation that revenues will be higher than projected. For this reason, funding for certain initiatives (CIP, new personnel, and any potential step increases) may be placed in reserves and considered later once the revenue is available.

“Lastly, when reviewing the proposed budget, it is important to reflect on the various unfunded
mandates imposed on the County. Unfunded mandates are laws passed by the Texas Legislature
that require counties to provide services or care without funding to support those costs. As a result, these laws, or unfunded mandates, increase costs for county governments, which in turn place an additional burden on local taxpayers.”

According to the County, the cost to provide services that are required as “unfunded mandates” will cost $242,452,329 or 54 percent of the annual general fund budget.