While local politicians and their lobbyists are lining up to oppose property tax reform, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court has chosen to stand with the taxpayers instead. In an unanimous vote, the court backed a resolution supporting legislative efforts on property tax reform.
The resolution, authored by Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, calls on the Montgomery County legislative delegation to support Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2, the property tax reform proposal being pushed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen. SB/HB 2 would require local governments to obtain voter approval for any tax rate increases over 2.5%. All new growth would be exempt, as well as cities with less than $15 million of property tax revenues.
“Property tax growth is killing homeowners and businesses in Texas,” said Noack in an op-ed announcing his resolution.
The resolution also endorses SB 657 by State Sen. Brandon Creighton, which would impose a 3 percent cap on appraisals. While the tax rate in Montgomery County has largely remained the same in recent years, taxes continue to increase due to rising appraisals. County Judge Mark Keough often stated during his 2018 campaign that commissioners should be lowering the tax rate to offset appraisal growth.
Montgomery County’s support of SB/HB 2 stands in stark contrast to the Texas Association of Counties and other taxpayer funded lobbyist groups, which are vociferously opposed to letting voters have a say on tax increases.
“Such a basic and simple approach to limiting uncontrolled property tax increases without a vote of the people should enjoy universal support, right? Well, it doesn’t,” said Noack. “Elected officials all across the state, and their lobbyists in Austin are fighting this tooth and nail.”
Pointing to the root cause of tax growth, Noack also criticized the profligate spending by local governments, “Right now the taxpayers get stuck with the bill and no real recourse. Local leaders should never fear a vote of the people.”
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