Guest Editorial: Jim Howard, Government Must Cut Spending, Taxes, and Tax Appraisals, in response to pandemic

Jim Howard, Guest Editorialist to The Golden Hammer
You have probably received your tax notice from the Montgomery County Appraisal District (MCAD) for 2020.  If your taxable value has gone down, consider yourself fortunate.  If it has gone up, you may want to protest your appraisal.
Currently, we are in a situation that most of us have not seen before.  We have experienced a huge drop in the equities market.  Many people are out of work and we are not sure how or when we are going to recover.  The Communist government in China has done a number on us without firing a shot.
For our taxing authorities (Montgomery County Commissioners Court, Conroe Independent School District Board, City of Conroe Council, Lone Star College Board, and the Montgomery County Hospital District Board) to allow the “standard” increases, which are spit out of the computer model each year, to proceed, without any concern for how or if this economy is going to recover, is not going to help in a recovery.  Our taxing authorities need to hold the line if not reduce their spending for the next several years, until it can be determined if the current “budgets” are even realistic.  Get rid of the fluff and concentrate on the necessities.  Lean on the churches to do the good and quit trying to be God to everyone.
It would not hurt for the taxing authorities to show some restraint in increased spending and some aggression in reducing the never ending tax increases.  The Commissioners Court needs to act like a group of conservatives which means to not spend money, just because it is there.  They need to see where they can hold the line, if not reduce the spending that they have planned for 2020 and the next several years.
The Conroe Independent School District (CISD) Board needs to get together (virtually) and decide how they are going to cut spending and be aggressive in that assessment.  If we need to have the “shacks” for several more years, so be it.  The School Board needs to start looking at how we are going to get out of debt, instead of how we can acquire more debt, and make that action known.  This online schooling may be just the thing we need to pursue that will allow the CISD to make the cuts, reduce the debt and help this economy recover..  It is time to start thinking outside the box rather than continually making the box bigger.
“It is time to start thinking outside of the [government spending] box rather than continually making the box bigger.”
The same goes for the Lone Star College Board.
The Montgomery County Hospital District Board has done a pretty good job of holding the line on spending, but they need to also look at where they can hold the line if not cut.  They need to make those cuts known and tell the Appraisal District to let the citizens keep more of their money..
The Conroe City Council seems to be sensitive to tax rate increases, but content with allowing the continual increase in the taxable values by our Appraisal District on the citizen’s properties in the City, to bring home the bacon.
Instead of raising property taxable values, the taxing authorities (Commissioners Court, CISD Board, Conroe City Council, Lone Star College Board and Hospital District Board) need to be aggressive about making cuts and tell the Appraisal District to do the same.  In doing so they will send a message to our community, the state and the nation that Montgomery County is going to help get this economy back on track, rather than use the “business as usual model of tax and spend” that will drag down any recovery.
Don’t wait and see.  You can either lead a recovery or you can hamper a recovery.  It is up to you.  Don’t let us down.
Jim Howard lives in Conroe.



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