Proposed Denton County Budget Cuts Tax Rate, Prioritizes Public Safety and Cybersecurity – Cross Timbers Gazette | Denton County South | mound of flowers

Denton County announced Tuesday that its recommended budget of $371 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year includes approximately $7 million for cybersecurity measures and technology updates as well as $3.5 million for the public safety, including the expansion of the human trafficking unit.

At the same time, the proposed tax rate is reduced by more than one and a half cents from the rate enacted for fiscal year 2022, making the proposed tax rate for fiscal year 2023 0.217543 $ the lowest since 1986, according to the county press release.

“With rising costs hitting Denton County residents hard this year, lowering the tax rate was our priority in this year’s budget,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “We also believe that ensuring a high level of cybersecurity and supporting our law enforcement for public safety are important benefits for all of our residents.

“Over the past year, as our population of over 950,700 has moved ever closer to the one million mark, we have continued to plan transportation ahead as we spend the last of our 2008 TRIP obligations and ensure that our county services continue. meet growing demand.

The focus on these areas is a key part of the $371 million recommended budget being considered by the Denton County Court of Commissioners, according to the news release. Other key drivers of the 2022-23 budget include:

  • Increase road project planning in the $1 million Permanent Improvement Fund, increasing the amount to be paid for roads using a “pay as you go” system rather than issuing debt for county roads
  • Add new positions, cover unfunded terms, and manage the deferred impact of new courts added in fiscal year 2022 to our court and legal system at a cost of approximately $1.88 million
  • Lower the employee pay scale by 5% to ensure starting salaries are no further behind the market than they are now and to increase retention. Current vacancies among 1,889 positions total 16.97%. Denton County ranks third among the top 15 counties in Texas with 2.02 employees per capita. Denton County continues to decrease the number of employees per 1,000 population, from a high of 2.29 employees per 1,000 population in 2014 to the current rate of 2.02 employees per the same number of population. In 2021, the rate was 2.03 employees per capita.

“We continue to innovate by increasing services to the public while maintaining a conservative view of our tax rate,” Eads said. “We also strive to continue to be competitive in terms of salaries in order to retain current employees and attract new talent.”

The county is proposing to add several new positions and reclassify a number of law enforcement positions to better retain existing talent and experience in a highly competitive market. All detention officer salaries have been increased by two steps. Additionally, a new Anti-Human Trafficking Unit will be expanded to target a growing problem in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The estimated cost will be $3.57 million for the recommended public safety changes.

For road maintenance and improvement, $1.29 million is earmarked for road projects. Funds will be spent on surface treatment, flexible base, lumber, fencing, culvert repairs and more as well as projects in the permanent improvement fund. The total also includes additional costs due to inflation.

The county is also experiencing economic impacts such as approximately $295,175 due to maintenance and operating cost inflation. The county will also see a potential increase of $486,305 in the funding formula used to configure the amount the county pays for Denton Central Appraisal District (DCAD) operations. Each county entity pays part of the DCAD budget.

The proposed tax rate of $0.217543 is still well below all but one of the 15 most populous counties in Texas by county tax rate. Denton County, with an estimated population of 950,700, ranks second in the county tax rate category and is the lowest in the countywide rate. Countywide rates include additional tax rates for districts such as hospitals, community colleges, flood control and the Port Authority – none of which exist in Denton County.

“We keep taxpayers in mind when setting up each year’s budget,” said Ward 3 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell.

As the longest-serving member of the Court, Mitchell and his fellow Court members continue to seek cost-cutting measures to keep tax rates as low as possible for Denton County homeowners and property owners. , depending on the county. For example, using the recommended tax rate of $0.217543 and Denton County’s 2022 average home value of $401,796, Denton County’s proposed rate represents 10% of the overall annual property taxes owed. by the resident living in the town of Denton. The Denton ISD School District tax rates are 64%, while the City of Denton tax rate is 26% of the annual amount paid by homeowners. The average Denton County homeowner would see a decrease of $62.45, which is the difference between this year’s tax rate and next year’s proposed tax rate using the average value of the house in 2022 for both years.

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