Denton County taxes going up

That’s a bad news headline that makes every taxpayer cringe. However, the good news (if you can call it that) is; we’ll only be paying about an extra half-penny per $100 valuation. On a $300,000 home it amounts to an increase of $18 per year.

For those mathematically inclined, the current tax rate is: $0.282867 and the proposed new rate is: $0.289010, making the increase: $0.006143. Of course, that’s just the county tax, which will be added onto your school and city/town taxes.

The increased revenue will be used for a number of projects, among them a new jail facility and 50 new employees to staff it. The tax hike is merely part of the recommended $233 million budget that Denton County Commissioners will be voting on after a public hearing on August 27. Residents who want to voice their opinions can do so at the 7 p.m. hearing, which is held at the county courthouse.

Perhaps the best news is that we have a fiscally conservative commissioners court, which endeavors to keep taxes low as part of an overall philosophy of smaller government that delivers high quality services.

Speaking of high quality, my wife and I had the pleasure of enjoying coffee and cupcakes with Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell at our Flower Mound home. We’ve known Ms. Mitchell since she was the Mayor of Lewisville during the 1990s. Now in her 13th year as Commissioner (she was elected to her fourth term last year), Bobbie has become a very familiar and beloved member of the community. If you’ve been to public events in which Bobbie is asked to do the invocation you’ll never forget her often lengthy, but always emotionally inspiring prayers.

As Commissioner of Precinct 3, Ms. Mitchell covers parts of Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek. Mitchell, together with three other commissioners and the County Judge, represents the governing body of the county. The judge is elected by a county-wide vote, while the four commissioners are each elected by voters within their individual precincts.

Transportation projects are another part of the job, and the Court recently voted to provide their local share of the $1.4 Billion funding for the widening of I-35E portion that relates to the county. Although it means years of construction work that will increase traffic backups, it is a necessary step toward less congestion in the future. Other road improvements include Chinn Chapel, Garden Ridge and Flower Mound Road.  There are several other duties assigned to the Court, all of which can be ascertained with an online search.

What’s really important is for the public to know how their local government operates and who’s in charge of running it. Texas is known for its conservative values and Denton is considered to be one of the most financially responsible counties in the state. You’d only need a few minutes with Bobbie to feel assured that she’s pinching your pennies until they scream for mercy, and then she’ll really put the squeeze on them. An outspoken critic of wasteful government spending, Ms. Mitchell walks the walk when it comes to budget belt-tightening.

Moreover, her charming personality, great sense of humor and wealth of experience in politics and the business world, makes Bobbie one of the most sought after additions to any public or private gathering.
Also known for her fashionable and flamboyant hats, which have graced magazine covers and front page articles over the years, Bobbie exhibits a style and grace that endears her to friends and constituents alike.

She’s one of those self-made people who started life with very few material things, but with a plethora of spiritual guidance and belief. If you’re fortunate enough to spend some time with her, you’ll have saved the price of a motivational seminar.

Bobbie is the real deal, without a phony bone in her body. She has a natural charisma that puts you at ease and makes you feel as though you’ve known her all your life. People just don’t get any better than that.   

Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor. In addition, Bob has 7 published books that include “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death” and “Out of Sight,” all of which can be found on and other major online bookstores.

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