Comptroller's Property Tax Division releases survey results
One of Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's 10 Principles for Texas in the 21st Century is to "improve government performance and accountability." A key element of good government performance is customer service.
To measure the Comptroller's goal of providing the best customer service possible, the Property Tax Division (PTD) annually surveys its customers. The PTD sends a nine-question customer service survey to chief appraisers and county tax assessor-collectors in alternating years. This year, the PTD surveyed chief appraisers.
The survey focused on PTD's technical assistance, electronic data processing project and annual property value study documents.
Some 160 appraisal districts responded to the survey. All of the respondents said they were either "always" or "frequently" satisfied with the PTD's service. Several respondents wrote that PTD staff is courteous, customer oriented, responsive and professional, while some complained about PTD's telephone system, the annual property value study appeals scheduling process and delays in receiving some publications.
Comptroller details potential savings for Austin Community College
In November 2002, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn released a comprehensive Texas School Performance Review of Austin Community College (ACC) outlining 107 recommendations that could save taxpayers more than $14 million over the next five years.
"ACC must address four major challenges--improving communication and governance; restructuring the organization and controlling staffing levels; enhancing financial controls and accountability; and managing student growth and improving student services," Strayhorn says.
The full text of the ACC performance review can be found on the Comptroller's Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/tspr/acc.
Zavala and Maverick county school districts making progress
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn reported in December 2002 that Crystal City, La Pryor and Eagle Pass Independent School Districts (ISDs), located in Zavala and Maverick counties, have implemented or are adopting 131 of the 141 recommendations the agency offered the districts in three Texas School Performance Reviews (TSPR) issued in July 2001. Net savings reported by these three districts total more than $1.8 million to date.
"I want to applaud La Pryor, Crystal City and Eagle Pass ISDs' steady progress in implementing our Texas School Performance Review recommendations," Strayhorn says. "Over the last year, these districts have taken our recommendations seriously, taking positive steps to improve programs and ensure more successful students and school districts."
January sales tax allocations top $283 million
Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn delivered $283.1 million in sales tax payments to local governments in January 2003. Sales tax allocations were down 1 percent compared with January 2002.
Strayhorn sent sales tax rebates of $190.7 million to Texas cities and $16.4 million to Texas counties. Seventy-five special purpose taxing districts received $7.9 million, and the state's six metropolitan transit authorities and two city transit departments received $68 million in sales tax revenue.
January sales tax rebates included local sales taxes collected in November and reported to the Comptroller in December. The state's share of sales tax reported during this period was $1.1 billion, a decline of 1.3 percent compared with a year ago.