The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, April 20 – In the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in American history, brought down on the heads of Montgomery County taxpayers when government entities ordered a Constitutionally-questionable “shutdown” or “lockdown” of businesses and turned going to work into a criminal activity rather than the core ethic of American society, the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD), under the leadership of its policymaking Board of Directors and Chairman, Woodlands attorney Bruce Tough, has tightened the screws on Montgomery County quite a bit more. This past week, Montgomery County taxpayers received their Notices of Appraisal Values from the MCAD.
In the midst of the terrible economic downturn, MCAD intends to raise Montgomery County taxes significantly. It’s important to remember that an individual property tax bill is the product of a two components, the tax appraisal amount times the government entity’s tax rate (tax appraisal x tax rate = tax). Local government entities, particularly the Montgomery County government and the Conroe Independent School District, have shown little interest in lowering their spending or their tax rate burden in order to give taxpayers, already facing substantial cash shortfalls and possibly even bankruptcy from the Chinese coronavirus shutdown, any sort of break.
To make matters worse, however, Tough, known as the “King of Taxation and Tax Hikes” in Montgomery County, led the MCAD Board of Directors to set an aggressive policy of increasing tax appraisals in order to bring as much money as possible into money-hungry government entities who seek to hide behind MCAD, which acts as the primary tax increase engine for them.
Increased tax appraisals clearly have little, if anything, to do with increases or decreases in fair market appraisals. Four examples of the tax increases provide an outstanding example of how grossly unfair the tax appraisal increases are in the face of the coronavirus economic downturn.
Hudgens: Willis home constantly made a target
Dennis and Jackie Hudgens live in a 1530 square foot home in Willis. It seems as though MCAD constantly makes them a target, because the Hudgens seem to have insufficient resources to fight the behemoth taxing entity.
This year, MCAD has raised the Hudgens’ homestead on Deer Haven Drive in Willis from a value of $128,280 to $153,070. That’s a 19.3% increase in supposed valuation during the worst economic downturn during the lives of almost every living American.
Johnson: Magnolia outrage but at least it’s capped
Mike and Jonna Johnson live in a 3315 square foot home in Magnolia. They’re hard working people who value every cent they earn and try to save as much and to spend as little as possible.
MCAD, the premier taxing authority, has different ideas for the use of the Johnson’s precious and scarce funds. MCAD raised their appraised value from $265,390 to $324,450, a 22.25% increase in one year.
The only fortunate aspect of the massive increase is that the Johnsons do have a homestead exemption for their home, so the increase will actually be to $291,930, a 10% jump, with future 10% increases for many years to come.
Clark: turning the screws on the former Commissioner
Former Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Clark lives in East Montgomery County. MCAD increased the valuation for his 2234 square foot homestead from $134,860 to $239,980, a 78% increase in one year! Clark has the homestead cap, so the actual assessed value will be $151,730 for the coming tax year.
Where Clark is taking the tax appraisal increase squarely on the chin is his father’s home down the street from him. That 1026 square foot home had a value of $105,130, but MCAD has more than doubled the value to $232,160, with no homestead exemption. Clark will suffer a 120.6% increase in the valuation – and taxes – for that home.
Clearly, Tough is aggressively doing his best, along with the other MCAD Board members, to ensure that Montgomery County taxes remain high and aggressively increase for many years to come.
Meanwhile, don’t worry. Government salaries and government spending appear to be going nowhere but up and up and up.