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NEW BOSTON, Texas — Bowie County officials plan to keep the county's current property tax rate the same for next fiscal year's operating and maintenance budget.

During a public hearing Monday on the county's proposed property tax rate, Bowie County Auditor William Tye announced that the county will continue to hold steady to its current tax rate of just slightly more thanthe 42 cents per every $100 valuation on real property.

The money generated by the continuing tax rate will help fund the county's proposed Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget — slated to cover around $36 million in projected operating and maintenance expenditures for next year. If approved next month, the proposed budget will become effective Oct. 1.

Some of the main expenditures the new budget will include $3.7 million to fund the Sheriff's Office and more than $1.7 million to finance the District Attorney's office.

During the public hearing, DeKalb resident Matt Latimer asked whether an increase in county jail's inmate population is causing a potential hike in property taxes. Tye said the proposed same tax rate won't be affected by inmate numbers.

"We're watching our inmate count closely," Tye said.

In other business, the commissioners agreed to receive a $140,000 Texas Indigent Defense Commission Improvement grant. The entire grant, which will actually be $175,000 with a $35,000 contribution in matching county funds, will be used to help provide money for such indigent defense personnel-related costs, including travel, training and contracted services.

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