Tarrant County incumbent tax assessor-collector leads opponents in early fundraising

dfwnewsa | January 18, 2024 | 0 | Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Tarrant County incumbent tax assessor-collector leads opponents in early fundraising

Tarrant County Courthouse
” data-image-caption=”The Tarrant County Courthouse located at 100 E. Weatherford St. in Fort Worth. (Rodger Mallison | Fort Worth Report)
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Republican Wendy Burgess, the incumbent Tarrant County tax assessor-collector, is leading both her Republican and Democratic opponents in campaign funding ahead of the March 5 primary. 

Burgess, Republican Rick Barnes and Democrat KC Chowdhury reported donations from July through December in Jan. 16 campaign finance reports. Burgess and Barnes will face off in the primary, and the winner from that contest will compete with Chowdhury on the general ballot in November. 

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In the reporting period, Burgess reported $10,675 in cash and in-kind campaign contributions, while Barnes reported $7,680. Chowdhury reported $0 in campaign contributions. 

Burgess’ largest donor was Tom Durant, owner of the Durant Dealer Group and Classic Chevrolet. Durant, who is also well known in the Texas racehorse community, gave Burgess $5,000 in December. 

Automotive software developer and supply distributor AIB, Inc., was listed as giving $2,500 to Burgess in July. However, most corporations are not allowed to give to individual candidates under Texas campaign finance law, and when contacted by the Fort Worth Report, Burgess said the filing was made in error and that the donation came from Cindi Dunham, the owner of AIB. Burgess will be filing a correction to her finance report to reflect that, she said. 

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Barnes’ two largest donors were Mona Bailey and Pat Schatzline. Bailey gave Barnes $2,500, spread across three donations in October and December, and Schatzline gave Barnes $1,000 in September. 

Bailey is a Tarrant County GOP precinct chair, former member of the party’s finance committee and former member of the State Republican Executive Committee. Schatzline is the founder of Remnant Ministries International, an evangelist ministry, owner of Two Crazy Dreamers LLC, and the father of Rep. Nate Schatzline, R-Fort Worth.

Barnes had 41 unique donors, while Burgess had 20. Barnes had an average donation of $159;  Burgess, $407.

The Fort Worth Report, in partnership with KERA, SteerFW and the League of Women Voters, is holding candidate debates for the March 2024 primary elections.  

On Feb. 7, Republican candidates in the following races will debate.

Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector

U.S. House District 12

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Texas House District 97

On Feb. 8, Democratic candidates in the following races will debate.

U.S. House District 12

Texas House District 97

Tarrant County Commissioner Precinct 1

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

The Tarrant County tax assessor-collector is tasked with assessing and collecting taxes on property in the county as head of the tax office. They are elected to a four-year term. Burgess has served as tax assessor-collector since 2019. The county tax office employs nearly 200 staff members. 

The tax assessor-collector is also responsible for delinquency notifications, deferred payment collection and starting the process to seize property for unpaid tax bills. The tax office licenses and titles vehicles and collects beer, wine and liquor licensing fees. 

The tax assessor-collector does not set tax rates or appraise property values.

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Emily Wolf is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at emily.wolf@fortworthreport.org or @_wolfemily

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