This past week, the commissioners court concluded our annual budget workshop and completed the proposed 2018 Collin County budget. Here are the highlights of next year’s county budget.
Keeping Collin County Moving. Investing in Transportation
Transportation planning remains my highest priority and the top priority of Collin County today, and our 2018 county budget reflects that priority. The commissioners court set aside an additional $38 million for highway transportation projects in 2018, at the recommendation of the county engineer. This funding will allow us to keep moving forward on critical highway projects across the county next year, while keeping our pledge of no new toll roads.
While this $38 million will suffice for next year, our transportation system will require significant additional funding to keep up with the dramatic growth in Collin County today. 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 year, the commissioners court will be working together with TxDOT, NCTCOG (North Central Texas Council of Governments), the Collin County Planning Board, local cities and towns, and our citizens to determine the appropriate level of bond funding required and to identify highway projects that will be included in the bond election.
Keeping Collin County Safe. Investing in Public Safety
The 2018 budget includes significant new resources dedicated to public safety and the Collin County Sheriff’s Office. The commissioners court supported Sheriff Jim Skinner’s plan for department improvements by funding 12 new deputy sheriffs, 3 new dispatchers, and 3 additional leadership positions in the sheriff’s office. Additionally, the court approved Sheriff Skinner’s request for new equipment and supplemental pay for advanced peace officer certifications; and funded necessary maintenance and improvement projects in our county detention facility, ranked as one of the best in the state.
These investments in the sheriff’s office represent our proactive commitment to public safety and to maintaining the high quality of life we enjoy, while keeping Collin County the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
Keeping Collin County Thriving. Investing in Your Family
I’m very excited to share with you that the commissioners court will once again adopt the “No-New-Taxes” effective tax rate for 2018, marking five consecutive years of tax rate cuts in Collin County!
You have spoken loud and clear that you expect us to provide excellent county services and common sense government. You want us to invest in critical infrastructure needs and prepare for future population growth. I’m proud to report that we continue to do exactly that, while also giving you the lowest county property tax rate in Texas!
Now it’s your turn to give us your feedback. The commissioners court will be hosting three public hearings next month (September 5, September 11, and September 18), and I invite you to join us in person or watch online.