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Financial Transparency

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Galveston County welcomes you to our Financial Transparency webpage. It is our objective to provide the public with clear, understandable and searchable information regarding the county's finances and so much more.

Galveston County believes that its citizens can participate in their own informed governance only to the extent they understand the actions taken by its executive body, the Galveston County Commissioners Court. Transparency of Commissioners Court actions promotes citizen understanding, which in turn generates feedback that improves governance.

An important part of the Commissioners Court’s actions involves finances: the means by which the county raises revenues (1), and the purposes for which it makes expenditures (2).

The chart below shows the revenues and expenditures per capita for the period including fiscal year 2014 through 2018. Population data was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bar graph of revenue and expenditures per capita, FY 2014-2018

Since Hurricane Ike in 2008, Galveston County has been the recipient of a multitude of grant funds to assist with disaster recovery. The county continues to use grant monies to restore beaches and dunes, remediate and improve infrastructure, restore county facilities and repair, rebuild and elevate homes.

The chart below shows the revenues and expenditures per capita, excluding the grant funds, for the period including fiscal years 2014 through 2018. Population data was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bar graph of revenue and expenditures per capita excluding grant funds, FY 2014-2018

Please view Galveston County's Finance Summary for FY2018 in addition to the information provided below.

(1) Revenues are financial inflows such as ad valorem property tax collections, grants received from governmental agencies, and fees paid by individuals for services provided by the County Clerk, District Clerk, Tax Assessor-Collector, etc.

(2) Expenditures are financial outflows used to pay for the ongoing operations of the county - for public safety, health and social welfare, culture and recreation, conservation, road and flood-control projects, and the administration of county government.

Galveston County Budget

Basic transparency in financial planning is achieved through the annual budget process. Workshops open to the public are held during the summer months to discuss the various departments’ needs for spending as constrained by the expected availability of financial resources. A detailed, county-wide budget is subsequently adopted in a formal meeting of the Commissioners Court.

To provide the public with the ability to perform analysis, Galveston County now provides a "raw budget" which will allow viewers to take a deeper look into the budget, if desired.

Adopted budgets (pdf's and raw formats) from FY 2009 to current can be found on the Adopted Budgets page.

Galveston County Tax Rates

Galveston County tax rates have consistently decreased over the past five years from 0.589800 in 2014 to 0.551900 in 2018. A historic perspective of the tax rate change is shown in the graph below.

Property Tax Rate per $100 Valuation, FY 2014-2018

Additional tax rates for cities, school districts, mud districts, etc. can be found below under County Wide Tax Rates Documents.

Annual Financial Reports

Basic transparency in financial reporting is achieved through the publication of the county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (“CAFR”), prepared in accordance with the strict regulations of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. The CAFR contains the opinion of an independent audit firm of Certified Public Accountants as to whether the financial data included therein presents fairly the financial position of the county. Governmental entities that issue CAFRs of the highest quality may apply for the Governmental Finance Officers Association’s “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.” Galveston County is proud to have received a “Certificate of Achievement” for the CAFR for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2017, its twenty-first consecutive such annual award and expects to receive its twenty-second award for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, currently under review.

CAFRs from FY2004 to current can be found on the Financial Reports page under 'annual'.

Debt Obligations

Visit the County Debt Transparency Page

County Public Pension

Visit the County Public Pension Page

Additional Financial Information

Transparency Star program sealThe county is a proud participant in the Transparency Stars program. Galveston County has enhanced transparency in financial reporting through its participation in the Texas State Comptroller’s “Transparency Stars” program. This program prescribes that certain documents – for example, multiple years of adopted budgets, CAFRS, and check registers - be made easily accessible in electronic format on the county’s web page.

Additional financial information can be found in this section, such as Monthly Financial Reports, Internal Audit Reports, Single Audit Reports, Procurement Card Transactions, Estimated Available Resources Analysis, etc.

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