At a May 14 workshop meeting, Montgomery City Council directed staff to begin the process of creating a crime control and prevention district, which would help fund the Montgomery Police Department through sales tax revenue.

“This is the time for it to happen,” Montgomery Police Chief Anthony Solomon said at the workshop meeting. “You’re talking about the growth. We just talked about the businesses that are coming to this city. We’re just talking about the people who are moving around the city, who come here putting money in this city, who’s going to be bringing those tax dollars. This is the time, more than any time ever.”

What you need to know

A crime control and prevention district, or a CCPD, is a special district allowed under Chapter 363 of the Texas Local Government Code to help support crime control and prevention programs, operational expenses, and related capital purchases for police, according to a memo from City Attorney Alan Petrov. The district must be approved by voters to be created.

According to the May 14 agenda packet, things that can be funded through the creation of a CCPD include:

  • Police officers
  • Recruitment and training of police officers
  • Equipment, technology and vehicle replacement
  • Crime prevention and partner programs

There would be no tax increase to residents as a result of this district being created, Solomon said.

Diving in deeper

Creating the district would mean reallocating a portion of the city’s sales tax revenue that goes toward the Montgomery Economic Development Corp., according to Petrov’s memo. If approved by voters:

  • The MEDC’s portion of sales tax would decrease from a half-cent to a quarter-cent.
  • The CCPD would begin receiving a quarter-cent sales tax.

During the meeting, Petrov said the process of creating a CCPD is as follows:

  • City Council adopts an ordinance setting up the district and appointing a temporary board of directors.
  • The temporary board of directors meets and adopts a crime control plan and a proposed budget as well as calls for an election.
  • An election is held to allow voters to decide whether or not to authorize the creation of the district.
  • If approved by voters, the temporary board becomes permanent, and the district can begin collecting sales tax.

The board of directors for the CCPD would consist of seven people who serve staggered two-year terms, according to Petrov’s memo. During the workshop meeting, City Council members Casey Olson, Stan Donaldson, Carol Langley and Mayor Sara Countryman expressed interest in serving on the board.

By the numbers

According to sales tax projections for fiscal year 2024-25, the proposed CCPD would garner an estimated $748,797.04, or around $62,399.75 monthly.

“We are on trend this year for a 15% [sales tax] increase,” Finance Director Maryann Carl said when discussing the sales tax projections during the workshop meeting. “For next year, this is definitely conservative in my opinion. I went at a 6% [projected] increase.”

Quote of note

“I think people forget that public safety is a big part of economic development as well so there’s an argument to be made that this enhances economic development,” City Administrator Gary Palmer said.

What’s next

At the workshop meeting, Palmer asked City Council to submit names of people to serve on the CCPD temporary board so an ordinance setting up the district and its board could be considered at the May 28 regular meeting.

Petrov said the deadline to call an election for this November will be mid-August.

View the May 14 workshop agenda packet below.