Montgomery County Judge Keough sponsors Appraisal District increased spending request on Tuesday Commissioners Court agenda

Natural allies: Property tax collection lawyer Nelda Blair (left) and Montgomery Central Appraisal District Chairman Bruce Tough.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, July 28 – Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has placed on the July 28, 2020, Commissioners Court agenda the increased spending request for the Montgomery Central Appraisal District (MCAD), which seeks a substantial spending increase regardless of the fact that Montgomery County taxpayers are reeling from the government-mandated economic shutdown, which Keough himself initiated back in March of this year. Keough has aligned himself with Bruce Tough, Chairman of the policy-making MCAD Board of Directors.

Chief MCAD Appraiser Tony Belinoski announced a requested two percent (2%) increase in MCAD’s Operating Budget to $12,196,023, in a secret letter he sent to taxing jurisdictions in Montgomery County. This newspaper obtained the documents from a confidential source who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.

The biggest category expenditure increase in MCAD’s proposed budget is in “Supplies,” from $264,400 in the current year to $361,900 in the coming Fiscal Year, a 36.9% increase. Personnel expenditures will decline slightly as a result of retirements with personnel replacement at slightly lower salaries, but even that expenditure is only declining 0.5%. MCAD proposes to pay the Appraisal Review Board more than $108,000 more than the current year, for a total payment of $488,000, quite a high cost of loyalty to ensure appraisal protests fail.

MCAD has steadily increase Appraised Values in Montgomery County at least since 2000. Current Appraised Values are $82.1 billion. The proposed increases for the coming year of property tax bills continues to grow tax collections at more than a 5% annual rate.

Chief Appraisal Tony Belinoski will receive a salary of $159,650, plus benefits of $57,243, for total compensation of $216,893, which means he’ll continue to receive approximately three times the median family income in Montgomery County. It’s no wonder that Belinoski has no heart for the average citizen in this community.

The MCAD has budgeted spending more than $1.08 million in attorney fees during Fiscal Year 2021. School Districts pay 55% of the budget in proportion to their tax collections, while the County government pays 16%, utility district 12 %, cities 6%, and others the remainder.

The Montgomery County government will have to pay MCAD $2,203,063.90 while the Conroe ISD will have to pay $3,903,886.49. The City of Conroe will have to pay $338,908.54, while the Woodlands Township will have to pay $319,707.42.

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