Galveston County Tax Assessor Cheryl E. Johnson has a challenger in the Republican party who has launched a false campaign against her. I’ve supported Johnson for the last 15 years because she not only keeps her promises — she has exceeded all expectations.
The tax office isn’t broken. Thanks to Johnson, it’s an award-winning, exemplary service organization rated in the top seven of 254 counties according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (achieved because of the office’s outstanding performance, efficiency, accuracy and customer service).
Johnson was the first tax collector in Galveston County to become a certified tax professional and, whether we like paying taxes or not, she has performed the functions of calculating and collecting our taxes quite well.
She added government partners, which made paying taxes easier for many of us, and she has fought for property tax relief and changes that have provided both tax relief and expanded our options to pay. She helped insure the senior tax ceiling was adopted by our cities and the county.
As voter registrar, Johnson fought to remove noncitizen voters from the roll, which she continues today despite being limited by the state’s negotiated settlement. When she receives a report from the district clerk of those self-reporting non-citizenship to avoid jury duty, they’re investigated, canceled and reported to the district attorney.
She audits voter rolls and has partnered with local governments to insure new property addresses are added to make registration more efficient for new residents. Johnson has been a statewide leader in voter registration and maintenance processes. Has everyone forgotten that she was instrumental in correcting the originally flawed state system?
The most outrageous allegation of all is about employee turnover. Anyone with a lick of business sense would know the figures she professes are absurd. From what I hear and have observed, Johnson requires her team to show up, treat customers right, perform their duties accurately and follow the policies of her office. I appreciate that she has high standards. When I heard the county pay specialist recommended bringing pay up from 70 percent to 80 percent of market, I was amazed anyone had stayed.
I support Johnson because she has indeed increased service, reduced cost and fought for property tax relief. She’s experienced and qualified and has proven herself capable of running the half-billion dollar tax office. I want someone who knows what they’re doing handling my taxes, voter records and car registration.
Her opponent has no property tax, appraisal or government official experience. She has only managed a small family owned business — not a large staff spread across the county. She’s obviously unaware of the limitations established by state election and federal labor laws and will surely get the county into another lawsuit.
Johnson is a keeper. Her opponent may benefit from applying for a job and learning a thing or two before trying to lead such a complex operation for which she knows nothing.