A letter to the editor yesterday from Terry Beiswanger makes an interesting point.
In response to Wednesday’s City and State cover article “Vasquez takes charge of county tax office / Commissioners vote 4-1 to fill recent vacancy”: With a new individual in the tax assessor’s office, is it truly necessary to list his name on everything his office generates?
We pay our taxes to the county, not to an individual. Will we need to spend more on letterhead, names on doors, etc.? Is it really necessary or is it an ego trip?
Good question. I’ve written my share of checks to Paul Bettencourt, and Carl Smith before him, and off the top of my head I can’t think of another example of making a check for some government fee or tax payable to a person rather than an entity. When I’ve had to deal with a traffic ticket, I didn’t pay the judge, I paid the city or county in question. I make my income tax payment to the IRS, not to Douglas Shulma. (Though I do recall Dave Barry joking about his close personal friend Roscoe Egger back in the day.) Point being, why should we make our checks out to whoever the Tax Assessor is, and not simply to “Harris County Tax Assessor”? And if that’s always been a valid option, why aren’t we told to use it on the auto registration and property tax forms? And finally, if a change is needed, who needs to make it happen? Can Commissioners Court order it, or would it take an act of the Legislature, assuming Leo Vasquez doesn’t decide to do it on his own? I have no idea.