Q. How were the past bond program used?
In 2004, Rockwall County voters approved the County Road Bond Program, authorizing $17,000,000 for 5 projects. Those projects were interchanges on IH 30 at John King, FM 3549, FM 551 and Erby Campbell along with the widening of FM 740 from FM 1140 to FM 549. Today those projects are constructed and open to the public at a total construction cost of $150,058,000. That is a return of more than $8.00 on every county dollar invested. The Rockwall County 2008 Road Bond Initiative addressed congestion and safety issues associated with SH 66, FM 740 South, FM 548 and SH 276. The voters of Rockwall County voted to authorize an additional $100 million for these projects. To date, working with our city, state and federal partners, Rockwall County has been able to fund or construct more than $968 million in roadways critical to our residents. These include the reconstruction of SH 66, interim ramp modifications on IH 30 in Rockwall, widening of SH 276 from SH 205 to FM 549 and FM 549 from SH 66 to IH 30. Additionally, funding has been secured for several large projects that will begin construction next year. They include the widening of SH 276 from FM 549 to the Hunt County Line, the widening of IH 30 from Bass Pro to the Hunt County Line and the realignment and widening of SH 205 from John King Blvd. in the north to John King Blvd. in the south.
Q. Great, but how did those bond programs impact my county tax rate?
As of the 2021 budget, residents’ total property tax rate went from $0.3534 per $100/ valuation in 2004 to $0.3131 per $100/valuation today! Your elected officials have worked hard to keep your tax rate at one of the lowest in Texas and they will continue to do so. In fact, since 2015, they have lowered the tax rate by 21% and were recently awarded a “AA” rating by S&P Global for its “strong and stable conservative budgeting.” Rockwall County works hard to keep spending in check.
Q. What will be the impact on my taxes if this bond program is approved?
Rockwall County’s financial advisor has projected that if the county were to issue the entire $150,000,000 over the next 7 years and the county only grows at 3% and interest rates double from where they are now, the tax rate would increase by $0.05/$100 valuation over that 7 year period. However, those are very conservative estimates. Rockwall County has consistently grown by more than 5% annually. Additionally, the County will control the issuance of the road bonds to minimize the impact on the tax rate in the same manner as has been done for the previous bond programs that had little to no impact on the tax rate. In the last road bond voters approved, Rockwall County turned each local dollar into $8 of matching state and federal money, significantly increasing our return on investment without raising taxes.
Q. What is the Rockwall County Consortium?
The Rockwall County Consortium is a group of hard-working and dedicated elected officials and staff from all over the county that come together to work to address our transportation issues. This partnership has allowed us to pool our resources, examine our connectivity needs, and move forward in a manner that benefits every community within our county.
Q. How were the projects selected?
The Rockwall County Commissioners worked with the Consortium and appointed citizens to review roadway projects throughout the county and make a recommendation to the Commissioners Court as to what projects should be included.
Q. Who are our financial partners?
Rockwall County works with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to finance state facilities within Rockwall County because those roadways carry the majority of our traffic.
Q. What is the North Central Texas Council of Governments?
The NCTCOG is a voluntary association of, by, and for local governments, and was established to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development. The NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered around the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. All state and federal funding for transportation projects in this region is programmed through the NCTCOG.
Q. Who can vote in the Bond Election?
County residents who are 18 years or older must be registered to vote by October 4, 2021. Residents may register at 915 Whitmore Drive, Ste. D, Rockwall Tx 75087. Forms for registration are available on the County’s website at www.rockwallcountytexas.com. Click on “Election Administrator” in the scroll down menu.