Conroe, September 20 – Conroe ISD Board President Melanie Bush criticized her fellow the five of her fellow Board members who refused even to discuss reappraisal of homes and other properties within the Conroe ISD which Tropical Storm Harvey damaged.
Board Vice President Datren Williams and Board member Scott Kidd led the move to remove the agenda item Bush had placed on the Conroe ISD Board agenda for the Tuesday, September 19, 2017, meeting. The Board voted 5 to 2 not even to consider giving flood victims some property tax appraisal relief. The property tax relief would have reduced CISD’s tax revenue approximately $3 million. CISD has over $143 million in cash reserves. Skeeter Hubert, John Husbands, Scott Moore, Kidd, and Williams voted against the reappraisals.
Only Bush and fellow Board member Ray Sanders voted to consider the reappraisals as part of the CISD’s Board meeting.
“I requested this issue be placed on the agenda for discussion because we owe our taxpayers, whose property has been damaged by Hurricane Harvey, both fairness and compassion. However,” Bush continued, “merely discussing the matter was voted down because some members believe it is a state function. After hours of research, I have confirmed it clearly is not.”
As The Golden Hammer previously reported, Texas Tax Code Section 23.02 provides that local taxing authorities, not the State, shall determine whether property taxpayers’ properties subject to disasters shall receive mid-tax-year appraisals.
Bush said, “Clearly, my fellow Board members were not well advised on the topic, as the Tax Code states that every taxing entity has the right to request re-appraisal. Further, tax bills sent after a re-appraisal decision is made will reflect which entities requested the re-appraisals.” Bush continued on saying, “I’m concerned that the board chose not to even discuss the issue. It is my obligation as both an elected official and a member of our community to make sure that our neighbors have every opportunity available to them during times of hardships or setbacks. I hope the public will offer feedback before our next regular board meeting on October 17th, where we can revisit the topic.
Bush went on to say, “While I certainly understand that we need to understand the potential financial impact of re-appraisals the issue was not even discussed based on incorrect information about jurisdiction. Our CISD Superintendent and Board of Trustees has been very responsible in assuring that we have a ‘rainy day fund’. This was definitely a rainy day.”
Is it possible that CISD’s Superintendent and Board of Trustees are more concerned about the collection of taxes than the impact those tax collections might have upon citizens who live within the District?