At a Sept. 21 meeting, county commissioners approved a fiscal year 2021-22 budget of $336.91 million, which is a 5.66% increase from the current year.
Commissioners also approved an increase to the property tax rate, which will be $0.233086 per $100 assessed value. The current rate is $0.224985.
County budget director Alejandro Moreno said the extra money will be used on several priorities, including road maintenance and improvements, health and mental health, public safety, and cybersecurity-related expenses to protect county systems. Denton County is funding a new human trafficking unit for the sheriff’s department. It is also adding one new district court and one new probate court, which start Jan. 1, to handle the increased caseload that comes with a growing population, Moreno said.
With an estimated 933,220 residents, Denton County is the state’s seventh largest county.
The 2021-22 fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
The county budget also includes cost of living adjustments and a sliding pay scale to keep staff salaries competitive with the market, Moreno said.
Using the average home value in Denton County of $359,651, the new tax rate will cost an extra $29.14 per year, according to the county.
Denton County Judge Andy Eads said commissioners had a lot of tough decisions this budget cycle.
“I would consider this a lean budget,” he said. “There’s lots of things that we said no to along the way. But I do believe that this budget ... is appropriate for the time in which we’re living.”
Precinct 1 Commissioner Ryan Williams said the goal was to keep the tax rate as low as possible but still provide quality services.
“If you want a first-class county, which we all do, you have to pay for certain things,” he said.
For a detailed look at the county budget, visit https://dentoncounty.gov/budget.