When it comes to overseeing the quality of accounting and financial reporting in Texas, Mike Collier said Susan Combs gets an F.
That’s why Collier, a Georgetown native and longtime certified public accountant, decided to run for state comptroller of public accounts when Combs announced she would not seek re-election. Collier will face State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R- Katy, in the November election.
Collier spoke about Combs’ “lack of expertise, energy and independence” when he visited the Bell County Democratic headquarters Monday, as part of his 35-city, 14-day tour to connect with voters and learn their concerns.
“I do not think she wakes up in the morning worried about individual taxpayers,” Collier said of Combs, a Republican elected in 2006. “If I am elected, I intend to be out on the road all the time. I want to be constantly in dialogue with people, keeping up with their concerns, making sure their voice is heard.”
Collier’s first order of business would be the revenue forecast, which the comptroller must provide to the Texas Legislature so it is able to decide where to invest money. Combs produced revenue forecasts so inaccurate, Collier said, that it drove the Legislature to make monumentally bad decisions — such as firing 11,000 teachers.
Additionally, Collier said, Combs only provided a revenue forecast every two years. If elected, he plans to do so quarterly. In terms of the state’s investments, he believes improving public schools should be top priority, and that Texans should not “get addicted to debt.”
“I’m going to be a very vocal watchdog,” Collier said. “If the law says we need to collect taxes, we collect them. We’re going after the bad guys.”
Collier also intends to fix property taxes to make it fair for homeowners and small businesses. Currently, he said, commercial and industrial properties are undervalued.
“The table is tilted in favor of big businesses, because politicians take money from big businesses for their campaigns,” Collier said. “I’m taking money from concerned citizens for my campaign. I’m going to take the politics out of the position, and build the business competence into it that I’m capable of.”
Much like the incumbent, Collier said his opponent shows little concern for the taxpayers. Hegar has said he is in favor of completely phasing out property taxes, and Collier said his opponent would triple the state tales tax.
“That’s as clear an indication as you get that he’s not working for ordinary Texans like you and me,” Collier said.
Congressional hopeful Louie Minor, a Democrat and captain in the U.S. Army Reserves from Belton who is challenging U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, in November, attended the event in support of Collier.
“I’m proud to be on the ballot with Mike,” Minor said. “He’s right for Texas.”
Laura Allen, president-elect of the Texas Democratic Women, agreed.
“I love hearing him speak,” said Allen, who lives in Harker Heights. “Every time I hear him, I’m like, ‘You’re so qualified. Please win.’”