Know the FactsCraig offers responsible, conservative leadership on spending:
The county is in great fiscal shape:
-- The FY 2013 Budget grew by just 5 percent -- less than the rate of population growth and inflation combined
-- Craig has successfuly worked to cut the tax rate from 49.63 cents to its current 48.38 cents
Craig knows how to lead on economic development:
Craig has worked with commissioners and County Tax Assessor J.R. Moore Jr. to craft a highly effective tax abatement policy that has recruited a number of large, corporate employers like Anadarko, Exxon/Mobil and CB&I. By recruiting commercial development, Craig has helped to create jobs and keep our tax rate lower than it would have been otherwise. The county's tax abatement program has:
-- Created nearly 16,000 jobs
-- Generated an additional $53 million in revenues for this county
-- Grew the county's tax base by $10.4 billion.
-- Enabled commissioners to keep taxes lower; had the county not expanded the tax base with commercial development from abatements, the existing population growth would have required a nearly 14-cent tax hike.
Craig is a leader on transportation - one of this county's critical needs
-- Played key role in assembling regional coalition to obtain funding for 249 expansion project
-- Lead on several major transportation projects, including the Fish Creek thoroughfare.
-- Served as past Chairman of Houston Galveston Area Council and the county representative to the Transportation Policy Council;
-- Currently serves as chairman of the SB1420 Committee that will determine funding options for portions of the proposed Grand Parkway
Washington D.C. and federal deficit spending is out of control, but Montgomery County knows how to handle its debt, says Commissioner Craig Doyal.
Craig knows we need to be careful with our public debt
Here are the facts from the Texas Comptroller and the County Auditor’s Office, Doyal said:
•The County’s level of debt is well-below state limits.
◦Article III, Section 52 of the State Constitution limits the amount of bonds which may be issued to 25% of the assessed valuation of real property in the County. For the fiscal year ended 09/30/12 Montgomery County’s ratio is 5.42%, and for the current fiscal year, it is 4.67% – according to the most recent unaudited figures from the county’s auditor’s office.
◾source: county auditor
•About 20 percent of the County’s debt is being paid by the State of Texas – not Montgomery County taxpayers. Two programs are paying about $94 million on the county’s debt – the state’s pass-through toll program, which is paying debt on key road projects, and the Department of State Health Services, which is paying debt on the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility.
◾Source: county auditor
-- Even without counting the above fact, the County’s level of debt compares favorably to our nearest comparable county in the Houston Region – Fort Bend County, using the 2012 figures from the Texas Comptroller’s Web site, www.texastransparency.org. (Note: the comptroller’s site uses 2012 figures to compare counties – Montgomery County’s current debt actually is $446,595,000).
-- Fort Bend County, with a population of 627,293, had issued $508 million in debt as of the 2012 figures used on the Web site; Montgomery County, with a population of 485,047, had issued $492 million in debt (Again, current debt is $446,595,000).
- Source: Texas Comptroller
Craig is strong on law enforcement for residents
Commissioner Doyal and Commissioners Court have been strong supporters of law enforcement:
-- In 2003, the county’s public safety budget was $39.6 million and increased to $63.14 million by 2012 – a 59.4 percent increase.
-- The number of public safety vehicles increased from 271 to 460 over that time – a 69.7 percent increase, according to the county's annual budget report.
-- When Sheriff Tommy Gage was having trouble keeping qualified, experienced deputies due to attrition for higher-paying law enforcement jobs, Commissioners Court approved a step-scale program in 2008, where wages reflect longevity instead of merit.