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New Tarrant County judge says spending is out of control

Tim O’Hare plans to pursue property tax relief and budget cuts in 2023.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — On the first day of the new year, many of us were either recovering from the last day of 2022, or thinking about 2023.

Tarrant County Judge-Elect Tim O’Hare, however, was busy getting sworn into office.

And of all the challenges facing the county in 2023, the Republican says getting spending under control is one of the biggest.

Nothing in the budget will be off-limits, O’Hare tells us, outside of law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office.  But he specifically pointed to the IT Department and the Medical Examiner’s Office as areas with “bloated” budgets that can be cut.

“From 2016 to 2020 in Tarrant County, population plus inflation over that time period only went up by a little over 12%, but spending in the county went up by over 40%.  So, we’ve got to cut the budget and provide some real property tax relief,” O’Hare told us on Inside Texas Politics.

O’Hare says he’ll be in Austin during the upcoming legislative session pushing for that property tax relief.

And while Republicans enjoy a 3-2 advantage on the Commissioner’s Court back home in Tarrant County, O’Hare signaled a willingness to try and work across the aisle to make those cuts a reality.

He tells us one of the first calls he made after being elected to his first term as County Judge was to longtime Democratic Commissioner Roy Brooks. 

And O’Hare thinks he can get the votes he needs.

“Regardless of what your numbers are, you have to go make a case, you have to persuade,” he said.

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