Austin, March 6 – Montgomery County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark is traveling to the Austin State Capitol for four days to meet with the Texas Legislature for property tax relief and other issues important to East Montgomery County as well as the County as a whole. Clark intends to meet with representatives from Montgomery County, including Senator Brandon Creighton (R-The Woodlands), Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville), Representative Will Metcalf (R-Conroe), Representative Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands), and Representative Cecil Bell (R-Magnolia), among others.
Clark told The Golden Hammer that he is particularly interested in meeting with Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) who is spearheading the property tax reform efforts during the 85th Legislative Session. The commissioner noted that Montgomery County citizens feel very strongly that Texas needs statewide property tax reform and that’s the primary message he is carrying to Austin.
Commissioner Clark acknowledged that Montgomery County’s government needs to be “on the path of reducing spending and reducing taxation. We need to do a better job at the County level of reducing the size of government.”
Clark believes that an important component of easing the property tax burden is limiting appraisal district increases. Clark, who is a highly-experienced realtor, noted that the median home price in Montgomery County has almost doubled since 2008. “The median home price was approximately $120,000 nine years ago, while it’s approximately 216,000 in Montgomery County today. People are being taxed out of their homes, even after they pay off their mortgage. Home are overvalued.”
Clark will also participate in the Montgomery County Day at the Capitol event on Tuesday, March 7. The biannual event includes a large group of Montgomery County citizens who visit Austin to focus attention on important legislative issues for the community.
Clark intends to discuss the following issues among others with legislators in Austin:
- property tax reform
- transportation funding and focusing on how Montgomery County can move forward with state funding on sorely-needed projects. Clark complimented Tx-DOT’s new Regional Director, Quincy Allen, but noted that he’s worried about how state budget cuts will likely affect mobility funding
- Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District. Clark hopes to meet with Senator Creighton, Representative Bell, and Representative Metcalf on this issue. While Clark believes that the more elected positions there are on that board, the better a board it will be, he’s also concerned that the District needs to have an active board not chosen merely by a tiny group of voters, an electoral problem that the Montgomery County Hospital District previously suffered before their elections joined the November General Election ballot every two years.
- Clark wants to speak with Representative Cecil Bell about the toxic injection well proposed for the F.M. 3083 area. Clark believes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has not done an adequate job protecting the health and welfare of citizens with respect to the proposed injection well.