Image: Grieving widower and longtime Republican Precinct Chairman James “Pops” Doyle.
Conroe, April 30 – “A bank robber takes money with a gun but in this place they use the government to do it,” said James “Pops” Doyle of Conroe, the 74-year-old grieving widower and longtime Republican Precinct Chairman about the abuse the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (“MCAD”) has heaped on him and his family. “They’re using the Appraisal District to increase the amount of money the County government collects in taxes so they can spend more and more. It’s really sick.”
Doyle’s wife Sybil was diagnosed with colon cancer in September, 2015. In January, 2016, Sybil Doyle developed a blood clot that went to her lung and prevented her from walking from the complications. Doyle took care of his wife full-time from late 2015 through her death on December 15, 2016, around 11:30 p.m. “I was by Sybil’s side all the time. She was confined to a chair in our living room so I did everything for her.”
During the period of Sybil Doyle’s illness, the MCAD decided to strike against the Doyles. In 2015 MCAD had appraised their 39-year-old home with a $120,520 market value. Despite the fact that the Doyles have done nothing to their home for many years – in fact, Jim Doyle told The Golden Hammer the house is “actually in very poor condition” – MCAD decided to increase the appraisal amount to $274,990 for 2016, an increase of 128% over the previous year. In 2017, the tax-hungry MCAD, under the clear direction and control of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court which controls its Board of Directors, increased Doyle’s home value another 5% to $288,180.
Doyle lives in Tall Timbers, a neighborhood that is visibly in a state of decline off of State Highway 242 near Needham Road. “I was going to protest last year, but with Sybil being sick, I couldn’t. It’s crazy that the Appraisal District raised my home value again this year.”
Since Doyle is over 65 and is also a disabled veteran of the United States Navy, he enjoys some substantial exemptions. Nevertheless, the appraisal increases have hurt Doyle and his family considerably. “I’m retired as a mechanic for 40 years from Continental/United Airlines. I live on a fixed income.”
Doyle also noted that his daughter, Roberta Cook, and her family have suffered an increase in property tax payments of $200 per month in the past year, because she and her husband pay their taxes in escrowed payments through their mortgage. “They can’t afford that,” noted Doyle speaking about his daughter.
Doyle is a longtime conservative activist and has been a Republican Precinct Chairman since 1999.