Montgomery County Commissioners Court votes unanimously to raise taxes, award themselves hefty pay raise and largest spending budget in history

Montgomery County Commissioners Court votes unanimously to raise taxes, award themselves hefty pay raise and largest spending budget in history

Image: What the Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted to do to the finances of Montgomery County families.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, August 10 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to raise County property taxes on local families and businesses a whopping thirteen point six percent (13.6%), one of the largest tax increases in Montgomery County history. In addition to failing to reduce local government spending by even one iota, the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to award themselves with massive five percent (5%) pay raises, bringing their annual compensation to $195,335.35 in salaries, plus taxpayer-funded benefits of $78,720.15, for total self-rewarded compensation of $274,055.50.

The median per capita income in Montgomery County is $41,892, according to the United States Census Bureau, so the Commissioners Court rewarded themselves salaries almost seven (7) times what hardworking local wage-earners receive.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough failed to attend the meeting, as he is quite ill with and tested positive for COVID-19 and failed to make arrangements to attend the meeting by Zoom.

The Commissioners Court voted to reward all County government employees with a five percent (5%) pay raise, even as local taxpayers are suffering in a government-caused recession.

The “no new revenue” tax rate was 33.12 cents per $100 valuation, meaning that is the tax rate at which the County government would not have raised taxes on local families, individuals, and businesses, according to Montgomery County Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae. By adopting a budget and tax rate at 37.64 cents per $100 valuation, the Commissioners Court raised taxes by 37.64/33.12 = 1.136 times the current property tax rate.

Despite serious problems in the local real estate market and the national recession, the Montgomery Central Appraisal District has continued to push local property tax appraisals into the stratosphere, in order to give taxing authorities, such as the Commissioners Court, a means by which they may attempt to blame someone else for massive tax increases.

The budget will skyrocket to $399 million for Fiscal Year 2023, the largest County government budget in Montgomery County history. The Commissioners Court members and the County Judge made no effort whatsoever to reduce spending within any County government department.

The budget includes $9 million set aside for the salary increases, $9 million to take over the law enforcement costs for patrolling The Woodlands, and $7 million plowed into the County government’s benefits plan after $17 million disappeared from the fund due to Commissioners Court mismanagement.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Robert Walker had nothing but congratulations for the County employees. “It’s tough. Y’all have done a great job working these numbers.”

A public hearing on the tax rate and budget will occur on Friday, August 26, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., in the Commissioners Courtroom. This newspaper advises aggrieved taxpayers to stay at their jobs and homes to take care of business rather than wasting their time trying to complain to politicians who just don’t care.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley moved to adopt the massive tax increase. Precinct 4 Commissioner James Metts, whom voters have removed from office, effective December 31, 2022, seconded the motion. Precinct 1 Commissioner Robert Walker and Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack voted to reward themselves for adopting a budget the County government bureaucrats wrote for them to accept with passivity.

The Montgomery County Commissioners Court voted to pass the biggest tax increase in recent Montgomery County history on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

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