Despite terrible economic health of Montgomery County, County Departments seek huge tax, spending increase

Fiscal Year 2022 Preliminary Budget for Montgomery County government, showing 7.3% increase in spending and taxes, despite the terrible economic conditions of the County government. Source: Montgomery County Budget Office.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, July 15 – Despite terrible economic conditions in Montgomery County, after Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough illegally shut down businesses and churches in violation of the Texas Government Code and the Texas Constitution last year, Montgomery County government Departments are seeking an enormous spending increase as well as a tax increase on local taxpayers for the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget.

Montgomery County Budget Director Amanda Carter presented the “state of the county” to the Commissioners Court on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, during a Preliminary Budget presentation. That state is not at all good.

Montgomery County’s unemployment rate is 6.0%, which is higher than the national average unemployment rate of 5.9%. Despite high unemployment, inflation has been 5.0% for the one-year period from June, 2020, through May, 2021. That inflation is so high with terrible economic growth is reminiscent of the “stagflation” period, which crippled the United States economy during the 1970s.

Meanwhile, Montgomery County’s current population is 607,391. That was the same population estimate the United States Census Bureau made in its American Survey two (2) years ago. Therefore, that population level reflects stagnation in the growth rate of the population of Montgomery County.

Therefore, the County Department’s requested increase in spending of 7.3%, $376,209,564 for Fiscal Year 2022 over $350,555,386 for Fiscal Year 2021, represents a spending growth rate higher than the sum of inflation and population growth. Clearly, the Preliminary Budget reflects a County government totally outside of any management or control by Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough or the Commissioners Court.

With a 5% inflation rate, the General Fund growth rate (5.95%), vendor contracts growth rate (15.96%), and Special Revenue Funds growth rate (34.23%) greatly exceed any controlled rate of growth and represent a money grab by the Commissioners Court and County Department heads.

This article addresses the overall Preliminary Budget. The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, will plunge into the details of the Preliminary Budget for FY 2022 in later editions.

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