Putting the Budget Pieces Together for FY2018
There are lots of moving parts, but the FY2018 Budget pieces are coming together.

Putting the Budget Pieces Together for FY2018

Over the next four days, the Collin County Commissioners Court will piece together the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. As usual, there are a lot of moving parts and more requests than available dollars.
With a puzzle like this, we have to start with the big picture; only then can we reverse engineer the end product and start lining up all the squares. That means we can’t begin without first establishing a target.
My bottom line:
The county’s general budget—the operating budget for our various departments—should not exceed $205.6 million.
The county’s combined budget—including all other expenditures like payments on our outstanding debts—should not exceed $345.5 million.
These budget figures represent an increase of 5 percent to account for population growth plus inflation. It’s growth that makes sense for our rapidly growing population. And I believe that we can meet every duty and every need within these numbers. I am more optimistic going into the workshop than I have been in several years.
Those are my own bottom line numbers and do not include the $38 million from surplus that we will apply to major highway planning in lieu of a bond election this year. When the final, official budget is approved, that $38 million will be added. It will appear as an increase over last year’s budget, but it is one-time spending that does not come from current tax dollars.
Using the surplus for highway planning—instead of issuing bonds—will save us approximately $15 million in interest payments over twenty years.
Also, our increase in compensation will be larger than usual this year as we maintain our “middle-of-the-range” policy. And I plan to recommend the development of an expanded wellness program to improve the overall physical health of our county employees.
The commissioners court budget workshop starts at 2:30 PM, Monday, August 14. In the first few hours we will discuss major additions to the base budget. You can join us via video streaming at http://www.collincountytx.gov/government/Pages/video.aspx.