Conroe, September 14 – Conroe Independent School District Board President Melanie Bush, who is also running as a reformer for Montgomery County Treasurer against an “establishment” incumbent, called for reappraisal of all flood-affected properties within the CISD boundaries. The Texas Tax Code allows for such reappraisals after a disaster of the magnitude of Tropical Storm Harvey’s and the San Jacinto River Authority’s flooding of Montgomery County homes.
Earlier this week, Bush said, “This board would be remiss if we did not examine this for our taxpayers who have been adversely affected by Harvey. It is a high priority to evaluate the opportunity afforded by the state as an option.”
The Montgomery County government for which Bush is running just precipitously passed a $328 million budget. There are some good aspects of the County’s budget. It contains a 20% homestead exemption thanks to the efforts of citizen activists Kelli Cook and Adrian Heath. The debt service expenditures were reduced thanks to the leadership of Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack on that issue.
But there are some terrible aspects of the new County budget as well. First, due to the tax-increase leadership of Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador, property tax appraisals rose so much this year that, even with the 20% homestead exemption, without a tax rate decrease, many property owners will experience substantial increases in the amount of property taxes they’ll pay this year. Second, the County budget contains the highest operational expenditures in the history of the County government. Third, many departments, such as Stephanne Davenport’s Treasurer’s Department, have ridden a multi-year wave of increases in their budgets while elected official salaries and management staff salaries have skyrocketed to be higher than any county in Texas. As a result, the increases in County government spending have been greater in Montgomery County than almost anywhere else, including the federal government.
Apparently, Bush, from her podium at CISD, is beginning to address the abuse taxpayers have suffered at the hands of local taxing entities.
The regular meeting will be held at the CISD Administration building on West Davis at 6:00 p.m. and is open to the public.