Panola County plans to drop its tax rate by about five cents.

County Judge LeeAnn Jones said the proposed and effective tax rate is $0.55140 per $100 valuation — down from last year’s $0.60800 per $100 valuation.

The Panola County Commissioners’ Court received the effective and roll back tax rates at their Tuesday meeting.

Jones encouraged commissioners to adopt the proposed tax rate along with the proposed budget at the 2020 fiscal year budget hearing that is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 1:35 p.m. at the Panola County courthouse.

Budget Plans

At the county’s budget workshop in June, commissioners said they were looking at possible 2 or 3 percent increase in salaries for county employees.

Calls for additional staff for some departments was not met favorably by commissioners. Pct. 1 Commissioner Ronnie LaGrone told several department heads he couldn’t justify it when everyone is struggling.

“I hear where they’re coming from, but you haven’t had half the butt-chewings I get every day on these roads out here,” LaGrone said at the time. “Look at my sheet. Did I ask for anybody? I didn’t ask for nobody... We have an opportunity maybe this time to help everybody (with raises), but if we go to adding a whole bunch, we can’t do it without taxes going up and we can’t do that to the people. They have stood with us, they’ve stood behind us and we’ve made best with what we’ve got.