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After TAD snafus, county official wants to vote on agency’s future

Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Ron Wright.
Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Ron Wright. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright knows he has a voice on how the Tarrant Appraisal District works. But now he wants a vote.

Wright, an ex-officio member of the Tarrant Appraisal District Board of Directors, attends the meetings and often is the only one to speak out. But that is as far as it goes. He can’t vote.

So Wright would like the agency to change its bylaws to allow him to join board’s five other members in officially setting policy. Wright is the only elected official on the board, while his colleagues are appointed by the county’s taxing entities to represent them.

I have a voice but it’s not the same if you don’t have a vote,

Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright

“I told (TAD Chief Appraiser) Jeff Law and (TAD Board Chairman) Tom Potthoff, whatever we need to do to make that happen, I’d like to see it happen,” Wright said. “I have a voice but it’s not the same if you don’t have a vote. I can’t make a motion. I can’t be part of a majority “

There’s no mistaking what Wright thinks of the operations at TAD of late. He has been an outspoken critic of how the agency bungled a software conversion that left property off the rolls and led to last-minute refunds for taxpayers because of reporting snafus. Wright called a recent audit of TAD’s new computer software switch “explosive.”

Wright said the Harris County tax assessor-collector is a voting member of its board.

A similar suggestion regarding appraisal board representation is made in S.B.2, the property tax reform bill authored by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt. In the Houston Republican’s bill, all of the appraisal district board members would be elected officials, an idea that would make them “directly answerable to the citizens,” according to a statement from Bettencourt.

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

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