Montgomery County Commissioners Court raises disabled property tax exemption, but clearly craves higher taxes to spend more even from Harvey victims

Montgomery County Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae spoke to the Commissioners Court on March 27, 2018, with a very compassionate recommendation that they raise the disabled person’s property tax exemption.

Conroe, March 30 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously approved raising the disabled person’s exemption from $35,000 to $75,000 for County government property tax valuations. A disabled person could choose to take the $75,000 property tax exemption instead of the 20% homestead exemption but could not take both exemptions. McRae told the Court that Harris County currently has a disabled person exemption of “either $75,000 or $100,000.”

McRae revealed a lot of compassion for taxpayers and especially those whom the San Jacinto River Authority flooded during Tropical Storm Harvey by failing properly to control releases of water from the Lake Conroe Dam.

The over 65 senior citizen exemption will remain at $35,000, however, as Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, currently under criminal indictment for official misconduct and subject to removal from office if convicted of the alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act, refused to agree to raise that exemption.

Meanwhile, County Judge Craig Doyal, also under criminal indictment, showed his pro-tax, pro-spending colors once again. While McRae discussed the terrible misery that victims of Tropical Storm Harvey have suffered and efforts to reappraise their properties so they will receive property tax refunds, Doyal made clear that his focus was on “losing revenue” from the Harvey victims and his hope that, if they rebuild their flooded homes, “we’ll get that revenue back.”

Doyal doesn’t understand that the County government isn’t a business, because the money it brings in it brings in by force. It’s not revenue but a forced confiscation of hard-earned money. Apple Computer doesn’t threaten your freedom or the roof over your head, if you fail to buy its products.

By raising the disabled exemption to $75,000, the Court will lose $541,000 in tax levy, which is nothing for the behemoth of a County government Montgomery County has become under Doyal’s pro-spending leadership. If the Commissioners Court had given seniors a break by raising their over 65 exemption to $50,000, the County would have lost $3.1 million in tax levy, which is less than 1% of the fat $328 million government expenditure budget Riley, Doyal, Meador, and Precinct 3’s James Noack forced on Montgomery County citizens.

The City of Shenandoah, with its strong sales tax revenue, has the most compassion exemption program of any taxing authority in the area with a $75,000 over 65 exemption, $75,000 disabled exemption, and 20% homestead exemption.

Doyal was clearly upset that the County lost $1.7 million in tax levies as a result of the complete destruction of over 4,600 families’ homes during Tropical Storm Harvey. Losing that tax revenue was clearly Doyal’s focus rather than the loss of homes and of lives.

 

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