Brief Survey of Homestead Exemptions May Disappoint Taxpayers

By AD Heath, Special Correspondent to The Golden Hammer

ad@countycitizen.com

In a recent facebook post Campaign for Liberty Regional Director Kelli Cook pointed out that 237 Texas  county commissioners courts have granted homestead exemption to their taxpayers and that Montgomery County is one of  few that has not approved any homestead exemption. The Montgomery County Commissioners Court has granted a series of tax abatements to billionaire developer and Lord of the RUD Dirk Laukien and once granted an abatement to a fraudulent fuel distributor whom the State of Texas later ordered to pay $18 million in restitution, $8 million in penalties and $2.7 million in fees.

Texas law allows a local option General Homestead exemption of up to 20% of a home’s value, and an Over 65 exemption and certain other exemptions, including up 100% for service disabled veterans. The Commissioners Court can also grant exemptions to other disabled persons at their discretion.

I wanted to see what other counties are offering in comparison Montgomery County and the results based on a simple web search and a few phone calls may serve as a basis for more taxpayer dissatisfaction with the Court. While the results are not surprising they will probably disappoint most taxpayers who have been footing the bill for otherwise generous corporate abatements.

Since county salaries have been under taxpayer scrutiny in recent months, we  thought to include the salary of the CEO (i.e., County Judge, City Manager, or Township Executive Director) of each entity in the survey, the reader can decide if there is any meaningful correlation between that salary and the magnitude of exemptions granted.

Review the results.

TAXING COUNTY/OTHER2016 TAX RATEHSOV65DVDPPopulationCEO SalarySOURCE
El Paso0.452694500020,000100%20,000836,000$87,578SOURCE
Nueces0.30409220%62,500100%62,500360,000$96,975SOURCE
Fort Bend0.45820%100,0000100,000716,000$127,231SOURCE
Brazoria0.45740520%100,000100%100,000215,000$132,961SOURCE
Collin0.2083955%30,000020,000914,000$141,430SOURCE
Montgomery0.476700003500000000000550,000$164,745SOURCE
Galveston0.54624720%60,000100%60,000325,000$167,400SOURCE
Harris0.4165620%160,000100%160,0004,200,000$175,538SOURCE
Conroe0.42015,0000750050,000$184,000SOURCE
Woodlands Township0.023025,000025,000100,000$260,000SOURCE

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