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Montgomery County commissioners to consider tax reform resolution

February 8, 2017

By: Catherine Dominguez
Houston Chronicle

Montgomery County commissioners will consider a resolution in support of pending tax reform legislation next week.

The resolution addresses bills filed by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe, and Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands.

Creighton filed Senate Bill 2, which would lower the rollback tax rate from 8 percent to 4 percent, mandate all members of appraisal district boards to be elected officials, set deadlines for all property tax protests, and establish review panels in counties with populations of 120,000 or more to hear more complex taxpayer protests.

Will Metcalf filed House Joint Resolution 41 and House Bill 538 that would take half of the money that goes to general revenue and instead rebate that money to businesses that pay the franchise tax. Keough filed House Bill 44, which aims to reduce taxes by placing a maximum limitation of 105 percent on the appraised value (as opposed to 110 percent) of homes.

“Our legislators need to know we support their efforts,” Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said. “They are working hard to bring about meaningful property tax reform; and this resolution provides them with another arrow in their quiver. The rapidly rising appraised values, runaway spending and tax rates are crippling our citizens. They are demanding reform.

“The legislators are doing their part now; we (county commissioners) need to do ours. We must reduce spending and adopt a general homestead exemption.

Noack has referred to property tax reform as the three-legged taxpayers’ stool. He specified the three legs as appraisals, the tax rate/homestead exemption and spending.

“Property tax reform is a huge undertaking and it involves many taxing entities and state and local public officials,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark stated in a press release Wednesday. “We must start at home by reducing spending and using better budgeting methods.”

“Tax and spending will no longer be acceptable to me or to the citizens of Montgomery County,” Clark said. “Myself along with Commissioner Noack have committed to bringing about change in our way of doing business – through local action and letting our state officials know we are willing to work with them to bring about sweeping change to our current and broken property tax system.”

The commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the fourth floor of the Alan B. Sadler Administration Building, located at 501 N. Thompson.

Read more here: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Montgomery-County-commissioners-to-consider-tax-10918894.php