Image: Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States (left), with Reagan Reed, Montgomery County GOP Precinct 50 Chairman (right).
Conroe, February 28 – The Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee voted decisively to endorse a proposal to cut significantly County spending overall, to adopt a 20% homestead exemption for County property taxes, and to increase funding for the law enforcement departments within the County government. Republican Precinct 50 Chairman Reagan Reed, elected to the Republican Executive Committee in the 2016 Republican Primary Election, authored and proposed the resolution at the meeting Tuesday night. The resolution passed by a decisive margin of 21 to 10.
The proposals track the overall County government spending reduction with a law enforcement funding increase towards which the Citizens Budget Committee has been working during since December as citizens have studied the County budget and reduced spending on a line-by-line basis. In recent press releases and during the February 28 Commissioners Court meeting, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal has made clear he seeks more government spending rather than less. Reed is an active member of the Citizens Budget Committee and has also served as its General Administration Subcommittee Chairman.
In a March 1 Facebook post, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack thanked the County GOP Executive Committee and Reed: “A special thanks to Republican Precinct 50 Chair Reagan William Reed for authoring and presenting a resolution before the Montgomery County Republican Party’s quarterly executive committee. This resolution passed by a 21-10 vote in favor of meaningful tax relief for Montgomery County Residents.” Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner had offered a proposal for the Montgomery County Commissioners Court to adopt a 20% homestead exemption for County property taxes at the February 14, 2017, Commissioners Court meeting. County Judge Craig Doyal, Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, and Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador voted to defeat the tax relief by a 2 (in favor) to 3 (against) vote. Instead, they only permitted a 10% homestead exemption, even though Harris County, Fort Bend County, and most other similarly-sized counties to Montgomery County’s size in Texas have provided the full 20% homestead exemption.
Doyal has repeatedly made clear that he seeks to increase County government spending in the coming Fiscal Year, even though, under his direction, Montgomery County’s government spending has already grown 428% since 2000, while the County’s population has only grown 84%. Montgomery County Republican Primary voters passed a nonbinding resolution by a 94% vote in 2010 calling for County government spending increases never to exceed population growth and the rate of inflation. Since the 2010 vote, Doyal has voted to increase County spending by $54 million in excess of the population growth and rate of inflation.
Reed told The Golden Hammer in a written statement, “When all was said and done, the resolution passed overwhelmingly 21-10. Now I would like to see Judge Doyal, Meador, and Riley explain why they are opposed to the Republican Party’s official call for tax relief.” Reed noted that County Republican Chairman Walter D. Wilkerson, Jr., M.D., originally stated that he would not allow a vote on Reed’s proposed resolution during the meeting, but the Party’s Official Parliamentarian ruled that Reed’s resolution was consistent with the County Executive Committee’s Bylaws. Reed complimented the Republican Party after the meeting and explained, “Not only does the statewide Republican Party have legislative policies they take positions on, but most vibrant County Republican Party Executive Committees have issues they debate on and make resolutions. I think we owe it to our constituents to speak on such an important issue as County government spending and taxes. I thank the County Executive Committee for voting decisively in favor of this important policy position.”
Dr. Wilkerson was magnanimous about the vote. “My job is not to make resolutions but to organize the Party. Our Executive Committee meetings are about organizing our Party and not introducing divisive issues.” For that reason, Dr. Wilkerson and the County Executive Committee ought to be proud that a vote on reducing County government spending, adopting a 20% homestead exemption on property taxation in Montgomery County, and increasing law enforcement funding was not divisive at all but rather approved overwhelmingly.
Very clearly, Chairman Reed, Dr. Wilkerson, and, of course, President Donald J. Trump are solidly behind significant reductions in government spending, real tax reductions, and financial support for the law enforcers who protect us. Sadly, Doyal, Riley, and Meador continue to fight for increased government spending contrary to the policy positions of the Republican Party of Texas and the Montgomery County Republican Party.