Citing the lobby group’s opposition to property tax reform, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court has voted to withdraw from the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, saving taxpayers over $17,000 a year.
The court voted unanimously for an item placed on the agenda by Precinct 3 commissioner James Noack to cancel Montgomery County’s membership with CUC, a taxpayer funded lobbyist organization that is opposing property tax reform in the legislature.
Montgomery County has been spending $17,723 of the taxpayer’s money each year on membership dues to the lobby group. However, neither Noack nor County Judge Mark Keough could ascertain any substantial benefit the county was receiving in return for its exorbitant membership payments.
Instead, CUC has been working against Montgomery County taxpayers, opposing Senate Bill 2, which would require voter approval for tax rate increases over 2.5%.
Montgomery County commissioners recently endorsed SB 2.
“We spend about $17,723 on it, and I don’t know that there’s a huge benefit that we’re getting from it,” said Noack. “They are opposing the meaningful property tax reform that we just voted in favor of, so I’d like to go ahead and withdraw from there.”
Keough, a former legislator, recounted how CUC had lobbied against property tax reform when he was in the House of Representatives:
“I dealt with this group in the House of Representatives, and they stood against our tax reform in the past… just like this time. For the money that we’re paying, we just got another email that came out opposing what we’re trying to do in our legislative body.”
The CUC is also associated with a taxpayer-funded software boondoggle that has cost taxpayers in Tarrant and Dallas counties at least $69 million.
However, Montgomery County still has some work to do to eliminate taxpayer funded lobbying. They are still currently paying membership dues to the Texas Association of Counties, which is also lobbying against property tax reform. The county also pays lobbyist and former State Rep. Rob Eissler $48,000 of taxpayer’s money a year.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court:
County Judge: Mark Keough
Pct. 1 Commissioner: Mike Meador
Pct. 2 Commissioner: Charlie Riley
Pct. 3 Commissioner: James Noack
Phone: 281 367-3977
Pct. 4 Commissioner: James Metts