April is National County Government Month

As the fourth fastest-growing county in the U.S. in net domestic migration, Denton County attracts 86 people who are choosing to live here every single day.  Why? I think the answer is simple – we offer the perfect blend of being the best place to live, work, and play in our 953 square miles, just north of the fastest-growing Metro area in the country. 

With 8.1 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and more than 1 million of those calling Denton County home, many see the benefits of raising their families, establishing their careers, and enjoying the natural elements we offer with hundreds of miles of nature trails and not one, but three, lakes. 

As a fifth-generation resident, I am proud to call Denton County home, as my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents did. They traveled many miles in a covered wagon that now sits in our Denton County Museum to arrive here. And I believe my children likely will call this place their home as well, at least we hope all three do.

Where else can you find the second lowest tax rate among the top 15 counties in Texas in terms of a per Capita budget at $393? Not one, but two major interstate highways cross into our county, making it the epicenter of regional distribution centers. Our Median Household Income of $104,180, which is 1.4 times the national median household income, demonstrates the economic boom of working here. 

We also have a wide range of health care facilities, a notable number of headquarters, a broad array of housing choices few areas provide, and a network of educational facilities to meet the needs from pre-kindergarten to doctorate degrees. 

This is all to say there’s a reason people move here and stay. For many years, Denton County was a well-kept secret.

Suffice it to say, the secret is out. 

It is important not only to me as your County Judge but also to our entire Commissioners Court that you understand we are dedicated to keeping Denton County among the best. Our team of 2,000 employees work steadily to provide many services you might not realize we do – everything from building roads and bridges to motor vehicle registration to all judicial services from Justice of the Peace to District Courts. We hold elections at every level of government, maintain records from birth to death, provide public safety and operate a jail system, register voters, and much more.

As this month happens to be National County Government Month, let me share a little bit about how we operate. County governments often quietly go about the business of serving residents for the lowest portion of your annual taxes. It’s a fact few realize until they look closely at the property tax bill and realize we keep the smallest percentage for our own operations though we collect for every taxing entity and pass the rest along to them.

County governments are unique, in that they fall within the realm of the Texas Constitution and are the functional arm of state government. Counties are funded mainly by property taxes and fees, unlike our municipal neighbors who have sales taxes in addition to property taxes and follow a different system of government.

In Texas, we have 254 counties, ranging in size from just under 100 residents in Loving County to 4.6 million in Harris County. You can find out more about county government at the Texas Association of Counties website at texascountiesdeliver.org/county-services.

In Denton County, the median age for residents is 37, with about 23.16 percent of our total population age 17 and under. That tells you the story of how many families find us a perfect fit. 

We continue to look forward to the opportunity of serving you and your family in the days, months, and years to come. So, let me end this with a hearty “Welcome to Denton County. We’re glad you’re here!”

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