TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — Many of us still haven’t gotten over the shock of our property tax bill, so figuring out how to lower them is a major priority for many a candidate running for office this November.
Deborah Peoples, the Democratic candidate for Tarrant County Judge, says school taxes make up the largest portion of your property tax bill. So, she says the County Judge must be an advocate.
“I’m already talking to legislators. We need to go down to Austin and get public schools fully funded so that our tax bill goes down,” Peoples told us on Inside Texas Politics.
Peoples comes from a law enforcement family, but she’s been accused of wanting to “defund” the police.
Peoples, though, argues re-prioritizing where departments spend their budget is not the same. And she points to the Fort Worth Police Department, which she says moved money around to create a new Mental Health Crisis Intervention Team.
“That’s not defunding, that’s looking at the budget, looking at what people need, re-prioritizing,” she argued.
Peoples laughed when asked what she says to people who call her soft on crime
“I live on the east side of Fort Worth. I love my house. I love where I live. But I also want to be able to walk, just like everybody else, get out and walk around the neighborhood with my grandchild,” Peoples said. “I want to be able to come home late at night and not be afraid that my house is being broken into. I think that we have to take the necessary steps to make sure that all of our residents are safe and secure.”
Peoples ran unsuccessfully for Fort Worth Mayor last year, losing to Mattie Parker. But she says she learned a valuable lesson during that race, that voters in Tarrant County don’t necessarily want the partisanship.
The Democrat says another important aspect of the job of County Judge is to be a good steward of taxpayer money. So, would she use any of those dollars to help attract another Super Bowl to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, something Jerry Jones has made clear he wants to do?
“I would support spending tax money if I could see the bottom line. Because normally, let me tell you, when we do these things, I know a lot of you football fans, that’s just a sports event. That is also an economic engine,” she said.
Peoples is taking on Republican Tim O’Hare in the race for Tarrant County Judge. The election will be held Nov. 8. Early voting starts October 24.
The Democratic candidate also told us what her first three priorities would be if she wins. Listen to her full Inside Texas Politics interview to find out more.