Collin County, like all 254 counties in Texas, is considered an extension of state government. The focus of county government is judicial (civil and criminal justice, adult and juvenile probation), human services, law enforcement and jail services.
The county is also responsible for road and bridge maintenance in unincorporated areas, maintaining public records, collecting property taxes, issuing vehicle registrations and transfers, registering voters, conducting elections, and providing health and social services to indigent county residents.
With an estimated 80 people moving into Collin County each day, the county's population topped 969,000 residents in mid-2017 - a 3.1 increase from 2016 -- and we could easily top 1 million in the coming year. County leaders are continually working on expanding our infrastructure to stay ahead of this growth.
The county tax rate is currently
.1922460 cents per $100 of assessed value. This is a rate reduction from 2016, and the eighth tax rate cut since 1998. In fact, the county property tax rate has not increased in 24 years, and this rate is projected to remain constant through 2018. In 2008, Commissioners Court approved a 5-percent homestead exemption. In addition, Collin County's bond rating has maintained an AAA status since 2000 and is one of only four Texas counties to have this exceptional rating.
The county courthouse, which opened in the fall of 2007, is located in the county seat of McKinney, and houses the district courts, district attorney's office, law library, district clerk and additional services. The facility was approved by voters through a
bond election in 2003, with an expansion approved in the
2007 bond election, which allowed the county courts at law to move into the courthouse in September 2012. In addition to the courthouse, there are more than a dozen county facilities that serve the public. Administrative offices are located in McKinney, as is the justice center, jail, public works, animal services and health care services.
The county's governing body, the Commissioners Court, is comprised of a county judge, who is elected at large, and four commissioners elected from equal precincts based on population. This body conducts the general business of the county and oversees financial matters. In addition to the Commissioners Court, there are another 32 elected officials in Collin County government:
Collin County Commissioners Court
Collin County Commissioners Court holds authority over the county's administrative services, which include a number of departments such as public works, health care services, facilities, budget, public information, information technology and human resources.
Public Works maintains and builds county roads, as well as oversees trash management for the unincorporated areas of the county. They are about halfway through a program to asphalt all county roads, and stay constantly busy ensuring that county roads remain open and safe regardless of sometimes harsh weather conditions.
In county government,
Health Care Services provides indigent health care for qualifying recipients,
vaccination programs, the
Woman, Infant and Children (WIC) program and epidemiological services. During the past year, the health department, located in McKinney, provided more than 16,000 vaccinations to children and adults, including and more than 2,000 flu immunizations. People seeking additional information regarding health care services can visit the
Health Care Services website or call the department directly at 972-548-5532.
Animal Services Department was created in 2006. Their facility, located within the Sheriff's Department complex, performs all animal control duties as well as sheltering all lost/stray pets from all unincorporated areas of Collin County, and the cities of Celina, Prosper, Princeton, Fairview, New Hope, Melissa, Nevada, Lavon, and Blue Ridge. McKinney, Frisco, Anna and Farmersville all provide their own animal control services. In FY2013, more than 5,300 dogs and cats came through our shelter.
Tax Assessor and Collector
With three offices across the county, the
Tax Assessor and Collector oversees
property tax statements and payments. The office also handles all
motor vehicle fees on behalf of the state -- such as registration, renewals stickers and license plates.
Residents can access forms and information online, such as regarding the
Homestead Exemption, and get answers to property tax-related issues from the
Tax Assessor and Collector's pages on the county website.
County Clerk records the proceedings for the county courts through the
County Court at Law Clerks branch office. The County Clerk also maintains a wide variety of legal and vital records that include:
land records, power of attorney filings, bonds, plats, marks and
assumed names and
beer and wine sales permit applications.
The main function of the
District Clerk office is to keep and protect judicial records of the eight District Courts in Collin County. The District Clerk also oversees the accounting and disbursement of all
child support payments ordered by the district courts, manages a
passport office in Plano, and manages
Jury Information Services.
District Attorney represents the citizens of Collin County in prosecuting misdemeanor and felony crimes, and acts as legal counsel for county government. With more than 50 attorneys, two dozen investigators and about 40 support staff, the office works in cooperation with more than 30 law enforcement agencies in keeping the peace throughout the county by maintaining justice.
The D.A.'s office also runs a pre-indictment plea program and a drug-testing lab program. D.A. investigators, as part of a special unit addressing white-collar crime, oversee a
hot-check division and fight mortgage fraud, among other things, and have established an impressive track record in helping local law enforcement close unsolved crimes that have lain dormant for years due to lack of evidence.
The Court System
Collin County currently has 11 state
District Courts, seven of which oversee general jurisdictional matters: criminal, civil and family law matters. The eighth court focuses solely on juvenile civil and criminal issues. All of these courts reside in the Bloomdale Road courthouse.
County Courts at Law watch over misdemeanor criminal cases and some civil cases, appeals of Class-C misdemeanor convictions, and mental health cases. A separate court exclusively handles probate issues. These courts moved to the main courthouse on Bloomdale Road in 2012.
Justices of the Peace, spread out in sub-courthouses across the county, hold court on issues such as hot checks, truancy, peace bonds, and some traffic violations. They also conduct various magistrate functions including search and arrest warrants, arraignments and examining trials to decide if a criminal suspect should be held on bond until a grand jury votes on a criminal indictment.
Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer for the county and is responsible for running the jail, patrolling unincorporated areas and investigating crimes committed in those areas. The county jail is arguably the best in Texas, given that it has passed the stringent state jail inspection for a record 23 years in a row. The Sheriff also keeps a tactical team trained and ready for high-risk situations, narcotics raids and hostage situations, and provides bailiffs for the district and county courts at law.
Constables and their staffs serve as the chief process servers and bailiffs for the Justices of the Peace courts. Constables execute and return to the courts all warrants, capias warrants, citations, subpoenas, evictions, and writs.
Besides the 37 elected officials and their departments and staffs, other appointed officials and their departments serve those who live and work in Collin County:
The County Auditor,
an independent office, ensures the safeguarding, proper handling and appropriate accounting for receipts, disbursements and management of county assets through continuous auditing of transactions. The staff functions as a resource to all officials, departments and other users in the processing, compilation and comprehension of accurate, timely financial information and statistics. The office also monitors allocation of all resources and expenditures while maintaining compliance with all statutes and Commissioners Court policies and mandates.
The Collin County Purchasing Department
, another independent office, provides a unified purchasing system that ensures integrity and fairness, with centralized responsibility for oversight of solicitation, vendor selection, negotiation, award, contract management, reporting, and disposal of surplus property for the benefit of Collin County agencies.
Medical Examiner's Office investigates more than 1,600 deaths and performs more than 200 autopsies a year to determine the cause and manner of death in certain cases, such as suicides and suspected homicides. The office frequently collects evidence in its investigations that are used later in criminal prosecutions, but is also called in when someone dies alone or for unknown reasons. Commissioners court approved the addition of a second pathologist for the office for Fiscal Year 2017.
Emergency Management is responsible for directing and coordinating responses to disasters and emergencies, and to help coordinate different volunteer groups, such as the Medical Reserve Corps, as well as educate the public about disaster awareness issues at home and at work.
Fire Marshal serves as an advisor, inspector and educator on preventing fires in homes and businesses within the county's boundaries. In addition to fire prevention duties, the office investigates illegal dump sites and addresses
nuisance abatement issues.
Elections Administrator oversees voter registration and manages election tallies at county precincts.
GIS/Rural Addressing department develops and modifies a geographic database that produces maps, assigns rural emergency 911 street addresses, and performs spatial analyses for the county, which is one of the state's fastest growing counties.
For more information about Collin County government services, go to:
Directory of Services