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Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office asking voters to raise property tax to pay deputies more

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Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8:45 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office is asking voters to raise property taxes by two cents to pay deputies a competitive salary.

The proposed tax rate would funnel $5 million into the sheriff office’s budget to create higher salary for deputies and reclassify positions.

The two-cent hike would increase the taxes due to the county for the average homeowner by about $70. That would equal $600 a year in payment to the county alone. The average property value in Lubbock is about $169,000. The sheriff’s office has put the two-cent rate increase to a vote because of this year’s significant property value increase, about a 4.3 percent (or 4.3 cents per $100 valuation) increase.

Read more here: Voters to decide whether Lubbock County can raise property tax rate

Sheriff Rowe says the department is losing seasoned deputies to surrounding agencies like the Lubbock police, Texas Tech police and school district police. Rowe said deputy salary’s start at $41,000 and other surrounding agencies pay an average of $50,000.

Sheriff Rowe says the department is losing seasoned deputies to surrounding agencies like the...
Sheriff Rowe says the department is losing seasoned deputies to surrounding agencies like the Lubbock police, Texas tech police and school district police.(KCBD)

Lubbock police start at $51,000 going up by seven thousand dollars after the probation period. Local ISD police start at $47,000 but are guaranteed 16 hours of overtime every month, which is a total of $54,000 a year. Texas tech police start at $41,000 it goes up $46,000 after the first year, but they also get a free class every semester and a thousand-dollar clothes allowance.

A pay raise for Lubbock Police was recently approved in the passing of the City budget, which included a $4.2 million increase for the department.

MORE: Police salary increases highlight of Lubbock’s newly-approved budget

Rowe says this money will go towards higher pay, as well as reclassifying positions. Investigators and sergeants would have a step level differentiation, and the sergeant position will be compensated for additional responsibilities.

“Look at it and compare position for position from deputy to police officer to sergeant to Lieutenant captain and so on and see the disparity that exists in there,” Rowe said.

Another reason Sheriff Rowe hopes to retain staff is because he believes law enforcement experience is valuable.

“You don’t replace these guys overnight,” Rowe said. “It takes years in some cases to get their training and their competency level up to where they can be truly effective doing what they need to do with regard to that specific mission.”

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