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Brown County Judge defends cuts to non-profit that feeds the hungry

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BROWN COUNTY, Texas - Brown County Commissioners met on Thursday in a special meeting to approve a tax rate hike.

County residents will now pay a property tax rate of $.6237 per $100 valuation. That means if a person's home is valued at $100,000, they will fork over $623 a year in taxes.

But on Thursday, commissioners received pushback against their proposed budget cuts to Good Samaritan Ministries.

Pasto Ron Keener of North Lake Community Church again pleaded with commissioners to reconsider the cuts. But Brown County Judge Ray West defended the decision.

He said the county adopted a multi-year plan two years ago to cut back on its giving.

"We need to try to ween this entity from relying upon public funds," West said.

KTXS previously reported it would be 66 percent cut to Good Samaritan.

The non-profit helps feed those living at or below the poverty line in Brown County.

West said in court on Thursday that the county only gave the non-profit $9,200 this year, while the city of Brownwood gave $4,800.

According to the proposed budget of the county's finances, commissioners actually budgeted $14,000 for Good Samaritan Ministries this year.

In 2016 the amount was $15,100 and in 2015 it was $13,900, according to the county's budget.

Judge West said the cuts to the non-profit aren't final and they might reconsider on Monday.

Commissioners will consider adopting a final 2017/2018 budget at their Monday meeting that begins at 9 a.m.

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