TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A high demand for court reporters has prompted Taylor County to consider increasing the pay for theirs to more than $100,000 per year.

During this year’s annual budget hearings, 104th District Judge Jeff Propst began his time in front of commissioners by asking for this raise, saying that he and all other judges in the county agree that pay for court reporters needs to be raised from the current annual salary of $85,673.83 to $100,238.38, which is a 17% increase.

Judge Propst says this large increase is necessary to retain their current court reporters, who are constantly fielding recruitment attempts and job offers from other parts of the state with better pay.

According to Judge Propst, the current starting annual salaries for court reporters in nearby areas are as follows:

  • San Angelo – $96,000
  • Wichita Falls – $100,000
  • Denton – $130,000
  • Brownwood – $101,000 currently with increase to $105,000 approved

County Court at Law #2 currently does not have a court reporter, and despite multiple attempts Taylor County has tried to get someone hired, the position has been open for more than 1.5 years.

Judge Harriett Haag, who oversees that court, says that their most recent qualified applicant was asking for at least $100,000 a year, but that was four months ago and she has since taken another position.

A lack of a reporter in just this one courtroom has caused Judge Haag to cancel trials, and now there is a backlog of cases and costs associated with the cancellations.

In addition to recruitment from other counties in Texas, court reporters are now taking freelance work via zoom making a lot more money than they do in Taylor County.

Judge Propst says that he has talked to the current reporters, and they would all feel incentivized to stay if their annual pay was raised as requested.

Court reporters must complete a certification program to qualify to work in the State of Texas. Read more about the requirements here.