Once a month, the Melissa Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a networking lunch. This gives business owners and chamber members the opportunity to meet, mingle and inform the community what their business has to offer.

During these luncheons, the executive director of the chamber Bill Jones has a member do a presentation. On Tuesday, Nov. 14. former Collin County Precinct 3 Commissioner Chris Hill, who announced his County Judge bid in October, gave a presentation on the growth of Collin County.

Hill said financially, Collin County has experienced 80 percent increase over the past 10 years. Yet, the county has encountered a 20 percent decrease in property tax over the past five years.

“Since 2013, the court has adopted five consecutive property tax rate decreases, equaling a 20% tax rate decrease in five years,” said Hill.

“The effective rate is a hypothetical property tax rate that would provide the same amount of property tax revenue as last year, on those properties that existed in both tax years,” Hill said. “For 2018, the Commissioners Court adopted the effective tax rate.”

The 2017 tax rate was 0.208395, and the newly adopted 2018 tax rate is 0.192246, making it a decrease of 0.016149.

Hill said Collin County has the lowest property tax of all the 254 counties in Texas. Collin has the lowest with 0.192246, followed by Jim Hogg County with a 1.196053 percent tax rate.

Counties and cities receive credit ratings, just like an individual person does. Collin County consistently ranks well, said Hill. “Collin County has consistently earned the highest bond ratings from the leading rating agencies — Moody with AAA, and S&P with AAA,” he said.

Collin County has also seen growth in population. “In 2015, the population was 914,127. For 2016, the number increased by 25,458, making the population 939,585,” Hill said. “That makes the growth in Collin County 69.7 people a day.”

In a chart showing the fastest growing cities in American, two cities in Collin County made the top 5 on the list. Frisco and McKinney made numbers two and three on the list, growing at a rate of 6.2% and 5.9%, respectively.

The number of new home permits between January and June in 2017 reached 4,962; surpassing the number of 4,314 in 2016. The influx in new home permits can be attributed to the population increase. Currently, the county has over 1 million people. It is estimated to grow over 2 million by 2035.

Along with that growth comes growing problems for the city. With Collin County’s numbers increasing so drastically in the next 20 years, the roadways are a constant concern. Hill said there are a few roadways that are being surveyed. “The strategic priorities for the Commissioners Court are US 380, outer loop between Dallas North Tollway and Highway 75, State Highway 78, and a new north-south corridor east of Highway 75,” said Hill.

Hill said there will be public hearings in the near future, so the residents can be informed of the prospective new roads. He said it will also be a chance for the community to ask questions and comment on the plans.