Two Texas county judges, whose county budgets propose taking more money out of the taxpayers’ pockets, are themselves making more money than the governor.

Salary comparisons from the Texas Association of Counties show that in 2018, taxpayers paid County Judges Glen Whitley and Clay Lewis Jenkins of Tarrant and Dallas counties $182,482 and $171,367, respectively. Gov. Greg Abbott, for comparison, earns $153,750 a year.

Abbott’s salary is 15 percent less than Whitley’s and 10 percent less than Jenkins’. Texas’ governor acts as chief administrator of the entire state, whereas a county judge is the chief administrator of just a single county.

Interestingly, data from TAC shows that since 2014, the salary Tarrant taxpayers pay Whitley increased a whopping 18 percent, from $153,634 to $182,482, whereas the amount Dallas taxpayers pay Jenkins increased a scant 4 percent, from $163,207 to $171,367.  Since 2015, the governor’s salary has increased only 2 percent, from $150,000 to $153,750.

Data from the Tarrant Appraisal District shows that Tarrant County’s proposed tax rate would increase their average property tax bill for homeowners over 42 percent from just 6 years ago, from $359 to $512.  Dallas Central Appraisal District’s data shows that Dallas County’s proposed property tax rate would raise their average property tax bill for homeowners over 61 percent from just six years ago, from $313 to $505.

Taxpayers still have time to voice their opinion on these proposed tax rates. Tarrant will host a second public hearing on September 3 at 10 a.m., and commissioners will meet to vote on their proposed tax rate on September 10 at 10 a.m.

Dallas will hold their second public hearing on this proposed rate on September 3 at 9 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at 411 Elm Street, and commissioners will meet to vote on their tax rate on September 17 at the same time and location.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.