From the Inbox comes this press release by Patricia Rodriguez:
Press Release: Mike Sullivan received his college degree on county time and the taxpayer’s dime.
As a Harris County resident whose family owns a real estate business, I am very well acquainted with the dramatic rise in property values and the subsequent increase in Harris County property taxes within the last year. I have also experienced how a property owner’s ability to lower their property bill is related directly with their ability to engage legal representation from a tax consultant company.
As our newly elected Mayor has expressed in a recent Houston Chronicle article concerning this phenomenon (” Drop in property values gives city bigger fiscal headache “By Mike Morris February 3, 2016 ), commercial property owners have used legal representation to lower their respective tax bills. This has helped create a inherently unfair system for the average Harris County property owners who represent themselves during initial protest hearings with the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD). HCAD is now less likely to lower their property values and hence their property taxes increase unless they hire legal representation.
Yet in explaining the rise in property taxes, Tax Assessor and Collector Mike Sullivan cites general population increase in the county for the rise of property values and subsequent property taxes. Mike Sullivan ignores the simple fact that the recent population increase in the county has been uneven. Yet the increase in property values and taxes has been uniform throughout the county. He completely ignores the a inherently unfair system promulgated by HCAD in their property value assessments.
Harris County lacks a property tax payer advocate in it’s current Tax Assessor and Collector, Mike Sullivan. But to add insult to injury, it is a well known fact that Mike Sullivan who was elected with only a high school diploma and with little if any experience in government taxation, collection, and real estate valuation, has received his bachelors of science while supposedly working during county work time. In short, Mike Sullivan would jump on the light rail train on Main street and attend college courses at the University of Houston Downtown during normal county work hours. Mike Sullivan received his college degree in political science, on county time and the taxpayer’s dime. Keep in mind that the salary of the Harris County Tax Assessor and Collector was increased from $141,696 to $149,316 in 2014 (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Commissioners-to-vote-to-raise-their-own-salaries-5194938.php_) and that it has been proposed to increase again in 2016.
As a Harris County Republican Party Chairwoman of Precinct 10, I believe it’s my duty to formally ask the Harris County District Attorney and the Harris County Attorney whether county official Mike Sullivan attending college while being paid for full time work by the county, was a legal activity. If such an activity would not be allowed for salaried full-time Harris county workers, why does it appear that it is allowed for Mike Sullivan? Needless to say, I do not believe Mike Sullivan should be the Republican candidate for Harris County Tax Assessor and Collector in this year’s November election. The residents of Harris County deserve better. In this time of skyrocketing property taxes, we deserve a qualified full-time tax payer’s advocate.
You can contact Patricia at:
P O Box 99022
Houston, Texas 77261-0022
Houston, Texas 77261-0022