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Presidio County Expecting Budget Cuts After Mining Company Didn't Pay Taxes

by Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

MARFA - Presidio County will take the summer to decide a much needed budget for the next fiscal year. However, with one company not paying their taxes, county offices will be missing out on money.

Rio Grande is the company that owns the only silver mining shaft in Texas. It's located in Shafter, a town in Presidio County. The company owed $518,000 in taxes. The county never received it.

"That means for next year, the affects of the mine not paying are going to be felt in our planning for next year," Presidio County Judge, Paul Hunt, said.

After a settlement was reached, the mining company will pay some money. However, the discount to the company was big and in a small tax revenue county like Presidio, budget cuts are certain.

"Basically all the operational areas of the county, except the financial functions that we want to strengthen are now task with trying to figure out ways to reduce their budgets," Hunt said. 

County Commissioners started budget talks in June. A couple meetings are scheduled with county department heads to see where cuts should be made.

"Some will come crying. Some will come with ideas to kick around. A lot of the department heads are elected officials. It's the commissioners court that sets the budget. So when that budget gets approved, the elected officials know what resources they have to manage to for the following year," Hunt said.

Hunt is saying that the term financial crisis is too strong, he says that the belt needs to be tightened for the next year's budget.

County Commissioners will decide on a budget sometime in September.

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