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Collin County approves $434.5 million budget, lowers property taxes — but tax bills are going up

Michael Barera
Wikimedia Commons
Collin County commissioners on Monday approved a $434.5 million budget and lowered property taxes.

Collin County is slightly lowering property tax rates from last year — but County Judge Chris Hill said they’re not being lowered enough.

The Collin County Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to approve the county’s budget and tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget includes a tax rate of 1.52 cents per $100 of a home’s market value. That’s only a couple of decimal points higher than the no-new-revenue rate of 1.49 cents, which keeps property tax revenue at roughly the same level as the previous year.

Even though the property tax rate in Collin County is going down, bills will still go up because of an increase in home values. Hill said that’s why the county should have lowered the rate down to the no-new-revenue rate.

“Anything above that, our citizens know will be an increase,” he said.

Home values across the county are up, increasing the taxable values. Cities like Plano and McKinney are also lowering their property tax rates in response, but home values have increased so much that lower tax rates still mean that tax bills will more than likely higher than the previous year.

Jennifer L. Parker from the Collin County Association of Realtors said she expected the court to lower rates more than they did.

“I thought they would’ve gone considerably lower,” Parker said.

Collin County commissioner Susan Fletcher said going down to the no-new-revenue rate would impact services. Costs are up for the because of its growing population — the county has a 4.2% growth rate according to data from the U.S. Census. Multiple departments, including the sheriff’s office and local district courts, said during county budget workshops that the county’s growth is putting a strain on their resources.

Fletcher said providing services and raising employee salaries by 3% to meet the impact of inflation is why the county can’t go down to the no-new-revenue rate.

“In the end, things cost money, and I am not willing to not fund critical services for the county,” she said.

Hill said the county already provides excellent services with a low tax rate and that citizens don’t have to choose between lower taxes and high-quality government services.

“We have delivered the lowest tax rate in the state of Texas, and we have delivered the best services in the state of Texas,” he said.

Commissioners also approved a $434.5 million budget on Monday.

The adopted budget and tax rate will go into effect when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

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Caroline Love is a Report For America corps member for KERA News.

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Caroline Love covers Collin County for KERA and is a member of the Report for America corps. Previously, Caroline covered daily news at Houston Public Media. She has a master's degree from Northwestern University with an emphasis on investigative social justice journalism. During grad school, she reported three feature stories for KERA. She also has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Christian University and interned with KERA's Think in 2019.