Tomorrow, the commissioners court will begin the important work of developing the 2018 Collin County budget. During this week’s budget workshop, we will hear from elected officials, department directors, and outside agencies as we consider requests for new funding. As in years past, there will be more requests for increased spending than available resources.
As we consider the needs of our communities and our county, here are my priorities for the 2018 county budget.
Moving Collin County Forward
First and foremost, as Collin County continues to experience a rapidly expanding population, we must be proactive and intentional about investing in our transportation system. In June, the commissioners court expressed unanimous support for the construction of new limited-access freeways in Collin County and for a transportation bond election to be held in November 2018. Over the next many months, we will be working together to determine the appropriate level of bond funding required and to identify highway projects that will receive the bond funding.
For the 2018 county budget, the county engineer has requested $38 million to keep all our highway projects moving forward. I remain committed to funding transportation infrastructure with no new toll roads in Collin County, and my first priority this year will be to set aside $38 million to fund critical transportation projects.
Keeping our Communities Safe
Next week, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner will ask the commissioners court to consider his plan to reorganize the patrol division of the sheriff’s office, a measure that will require a significant investment in the 2018 budget.
Today, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office is one of the most professional and productive law enforcement departments across the state of Texas. But with a rapidly growing population, we must be vigilant and deliberate in our approach to public safety. I am committed to investing in the necessary improvements in the sheriff’s office, and working with Sheriff Skinner to keep Collin County safe and secure as we grow into the future.
Low Taxes for Collin County Families
Lastly, we must continue to demonstrate leadership and set the example of keeping property taxes low for Collin County families. I am proud of our record during my first term, as the commissioners court has reduced the property tax rate four consecutive years. I have heard your concerns regarding rising property taxes—a conversation that has made its way to state lawmakers—and I am listening. That is why I will continue to honor the pledge I made to you to guard against rising property taxes.
All too often, our elected officials tell us that we must choose between low taxes or excellent government services. In Collin County, we’ve proven that you can have both, by providing excellent county services, common sense government, a high quality of life, and the lowest county property tax rate in Texas!
Next week, I will push for the adoption of the “No-New-Taxes” effective rate.