Tax Assessor-Collectors Association Annual Conference

June 9 - 13, 2019

​Moody Gardens Hotel and Conference Center
Seven Hope Blvd
Galveston, TX 77554

For more information, contact Randy Riggs, TACA Secretary/Treasurer at (254) 757-5130 or Amy Lawson in the TAC Education Department at (800) 456-5974.

In order to take advantage of the early bird rate of $250 per person, you must register by May 9.

This year's conference theme is Waves of Progress. We have seen many changes to the way we do business, but we still get the same result: Service to our communites, counties, local governments, and most importantly, our constituents. We will continue to see progess in the way in which we do business.

Bingo

Bingo will take place on Tuesday evening since we’ll be offsite together on Wednesday. Get your “Bingo!” voice ready. It’s sure to be a fun night with great prizes.

Advanced Course

This year the advanced certification course will be held Sunday prior to the conference beginning.  Check out the draft program below for times. This year’s session is Team Building.

Lunch

Show your appreciation for our sponsors by attending Monday’s sponsor appreciation luncheon. Honor our friends at the memorial luncheon on Tuesday. Awards and education certificates will also be presented during the lunch on Tuesday.

Vendor and Sponsor Information

Information about being a vendor or sponsor can be found on the County Progress website.

Make checks payable to the Texas Association of Counties.
Mail checks to:
Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas
c/o Texas Association of Counties
P.O. Box 2131
Austin, TX 78768.

For more information, please contact Amy Lawson in the TAC Education Department at (800) 456-5974.

Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center
7 Hope Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77554
(888) 388-8484

Parking Rates

Self parking: Complimentary
Valet parking:  $20/night

Reservations and Hotel Rates 

Single/Double: $182/night

Hotel reservations can be made by calling Moody Gardens Hotel and request a room in the Tax Assessor-Collectors Association room block to receive the special group rate. The deadline to reserve rooms at the group rate is May 18 or until the block is full. Please make your reservations early. All reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing hotel rates.

Please note: As in years past, TACA anticipates the room block to fill quickly. In the event the block becomes full, a wait list will be kept on a first come, first served basis. To be placed on the wait list, contact Megan West at meganw@county.org or (800) 456-5974. You will be contacted when a room becomes available.

To cancel your conference registration or hotel reservation, please email Megan West or fax to (512) 477-1324. This will help move fellow attendees off the wait list. We kindly request that you not post your reservation on the TACA listserv, as this hinders the wait list management.

Reservations must be guaranteed by a major credit card or first night's full deposit.

Cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to 3 p.m. on the day of arrival or the first night’s room and tax will be charged to the credit card on file.

Hotel check-in time is 3 p.m.; checkout is noon.

List of overflow hotels

Sunday, June 9
1-5 p.m. Advanced Program: Team Building
Monday, June 10
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon
Free evening  
Tuesday, June 11
8-11 p.m. Bingo!
Wednesday, June 12
6-9 p.m. Offsite Event and Installation of Officers

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Saturday, June 8
3-6 p.m. Board Meeting
 
Sunday, June 9
1-5 p.m. Registration Desk Open
9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. NEW Tax Assessor-Collector Orientation Class
Speakers: Hon. Randy Riggs, TACA Secretary-Treasurer and Tax Assessor-Collector, McLennan County
Hon. Tammy McRae, TACA Vice PresidentInternal and Tax Assessor-Collector, Montgomery County
Hon. Bruce Stidham, TACA Director and Tax Assessor-Collector, Grayson County
This session is required for all new Tax Assessors in the first 90 days of taking office. The session covers basic operations for a county tax office, where additional resources can be obtained and which rules and regulations are state-mandated. A Tax Assessor-Collector is considered new if still in their first term of office.
10-10:30 a.m. First-time Conference Attendees: What to Expect!
Speaker: Hon. Cathy Talcott, TACA President-Elect and Tax Assessor-Collector, Comal County
This session will provide an overview of what is offered at the conference and will guide new attendees to the sessions that best address the needs of their office and assist them in providing great customer service.
10 a.m.-noon Site Committee
11 a.m.-noon Program Committee
1-5 p.m. Advanced Program: Team Building
Speaker: Ms. Nancy Baird, President and Chief Executive Officer, Training Strategies, Inc.
This session is about creating teams that are energizing, productive and deliver breakthrough results. Gain a better understanding of synergism and how it promotes teamwork and ensures positive long-term departmental and organizational results.
1-5 p.m. TACA Store Open
2:30-3 p.m. Still in My First Term... What Questions Do You Have Since Taking Office?
Speakers: Hon. Cathy Talcott, TACA President-Elect and Tax Assessor-Collector, Comal County
TACA Past Presidents
During this roundtable discussion session, past presidents and current officers of TACA openly discuss questions and provide guidance regarding duties relating to the office of tax assessors serving in their first term.
5-6 p.m. Devotional Service
Speakers: Hon. Jeri Cox, Tax Assessor-Collector, Aransas County
 
Monday, June 10
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration & TACA Store Open
7:30-8:30 a.m. By-Laws Committee
7:30-8:30 a.m. Security Committee
7:30-8:30 a.m. Awards Committee
7:30-8:30 a.m. Election Committee
9-10:15 a.m. Welcome & Greetings
Greetings by Hon. Michelle French, TACA President and Tax Assessor-Collector, Denton County

Presentation of Colors – Boy Scout Troop 216

Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag & Pledge to the Texas Flag by Hon. Randy Riggs, TACA Secretary-Treasurer and Tax Assessor-Collector, McLennan County

Singing of the National Anthem and Texas Our Texas by Hon. Bruce Stidham, TACA Board Member, Grayson County

Invocation by Hon. Cathy Talcott, TACA President-Elect and Tax Assessor-Collector, Comal County

Welcome by Hon. Cheryl Johnson, Tax Assessor-Collector, Galveston County
Local Dignitary Introductions by Hon. Tax Assessor-Collector, Galveston County
Galveston County Judge Mark A. Henry
Galveston County Mayor Jim Yarbrough

Introduction of Keynote Speaker - Hon. Allison Nathan Getz, TACA Program Committee Chair and Tax Assessor-Collector, Jefferson County

Keynote: Heat and Humanity: Skillful Management of Conflict and Confrontation to Ensure Quality Customer Service
Speaker: Stephen “Doc” Watson, President, Seneca Consulting
This presentation will identify the best tactics to use when dealing with difficult customers and co-workers. Hear real-life examples and ways to diffuse the situation to ensure that customers are provided with the best service possible while maintaining the integrity of the laws of Texas and procedures of your office.
10:15-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30-11:30 a.m. Anatomy of Fraud — How to Handle it Ethically
Speaker: Hon. Bruce Elfant, Tax Assessor-Collector, Travis County
This session will disclose how employees executed fraud in this office and what can be done to prevent these types of actions for other offices. The discussion will give a timeline leading to the arrest of employees who used their position and level of authority to perpetrate illegal activity, which led to authorities investigating satellite branches and ultimately take those persons into custody.
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon
1-3:45 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open
1-2:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Secretary of State Updates
– Expo Hall A1
Speakers: Ms. Christina Worrell Adkin, Legal Director, Texas Secretary of State
Ms. Kristi Hart, Manager of Elections Administration, Texas Secretary of State
This session will provide an update on the new laws and procedures regarding voter registration and elections.

Special Inventory Tax – Funds and Penalties – Expo Hall A2
Speaker: Mr. James Guest, Attorney, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Join us as we discuss the Special Vehicle Inventory Tax and how these funds should be accounted for within the tax office. Attendees will also hear details on how penalties and fines can be assessed and collected to maximize dealer compliance with deadlines and filings.

Human Relations Tips for Retaining Ethical Employees – Expo Hall A3
Speaker: Mr. Carey Erickson, SPHR, SHRM, SCP, Director of HR and Risk Management, Jefferson County
This session will give an overview of HR and the effectiveness of working together as a team. Hear real-life examples of constructive feedback on situational events that will assist with retaining ethical employees to serve your constituents effectively and efficiently.
2:15-3 p.m. Exhibit Hall Break
3:30-5 p.m. Comptroller Updates
Speakers: Ms. Lisa Craven, Deputy Comptroller/Chief Clerk & Chief of Staff, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Ms. Korry Castillo, Director, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Hear an overview about the Texas Comptroller’s Office and updated information from the MV Sales Tax Division and the Property Tax Assistance Division.
5:15-6 p.m. Legislative Committee
Free Evening  
 
Tuesday, June 11
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration & TACA Store Open
7:30-8 a.m. Technology Committee
7:30-8:30 a.m. Education Committee
7:30-8:30 a.m. Comptroller Liaison Committee
8-8:30 a.m. Historical Committee
9-10:45 a.m. Texas DMV Update
Speakers: Mr. Raymond Palacios, Jr., Chair, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Whitney Brewster, Executive Director, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Mr. Jeremiah Kuntz, Director, VTR Division, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
This session will provide an overview of statewide functions at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The speakers will discuss such topics as equipment refresh, processing and handling fees, performance recognition program, and future DMV initiatives, as well as a roll out of the County Equipment Guide.
10:45-11 a.m. Exhibit Hall Break
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Roundtable: Motor Vehicle – Under 40,000
Speakers: Mr. Clint Thompson, Chief of Title Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Candy Southerland, Chief of Registration Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Charlotte Kirk, Manager, VTR Division, Houston RSC
In this roundtable discussion about motor vehicle topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by TxDMV staff. The topics include: commissions, processing and handling fees, centralized payment processing, inspection verification, fraudulent VIRs, RTS/Cognos reports and balancing, NMVITS errors and reports, public and dealer mail, WebDealer and WebSub programs, and additional topics brought up by the attendees.

Roundtable: Property Tax – 40,000 to 200,000
Speaker: Mr. Matthew Tepper, Attorney, McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen PC
In this roundtable discussion about property tax topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by an attorney from a delinquent tax law firm. The topics include: homestead payment agreements, vehicle inventory collection practices, quarter pay installment plans, honoring postmark when unavailable from USPS, returned checks and e-checks, refunds and mailing to agents and mortgage companies.

Roundtable: Comptroller – 200,000 and up
Speakers: Ms. Shannon Murphy, Assistant Director, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Rick Parker, Manager, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Philip Chaimongkol, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Ms. Taliea Pocaigue, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
In this roundtable discussion about Comptroller topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by Comptroller staff. The topics include: Truth-N-Taxation resources and where to obtain forms and reference materials from the Property Tax Assistance Division. Additionally, MV sales tax issues including AG/timber renewals, commercial transportation companies, federal and state specific provisions, religious and nonprofit purchases, business transfers, unavailable sales prices, leasing, salvage transactions, month-end reporting, and gift tax and heirships.
12:30-1:30 p.m. Memorial Lunch
1:45-2:45 p.m. Roundtable: Property Tax – Under 40,000
Speaker: Mr. Matthew Tepper, Attorney, McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen PC
In this roundtable discussion about property tax topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by an attorney from a delinquent tax law firm. The topics include: homestead payment agreements, vehicle inventory collection practices, quarter pay installment plans, honoring postmark when unavailable from USPS, returned checks and e-checks, refunds and mailing to agents and mortgage companies.

Roundtable: Comptroller – 40,000 to 200,000
Speakers: Ms. Shannon Murphy, Assistant Director, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Rick Parker, Manager, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Philip Chaimongkol, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Ms. Taliea Pocaigue, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
In this roundtable discussion about Comptroller topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by Comptroller staff. The topics include: Truth-N-Taxation resources and where to obtain forms and reference materials from the Property Tax Assistance Division. Additionally, MV sales tax issues including AG/timber renewals, commercial transportation companies, federal and state specific provisions, religious and nonprofit purchases, business transfers, unavailable sales prices, leasing, salvage transactions, month-end reporting, and gift tax and heirships.

Roundtable: Motor Vehicle – 200,000 and up
Speakers: Mr. Clint Thompson, Chief of Title Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Candy Southerland, Chief of Registration Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Charlotte Kirk, Manager, VTR Division, Houston RSC
In this roundtable discussion about motor vehicle topics, a TACA moderator will be present and accompanied by TxDMV staff. The topics include: commissions, processing and handling fees, centralized payment processing, inspection verification, fraudulent VIRs, RTS/Cognos reports and balancing, NMVITS errors and reports, public and dealer mail, WebDealer and WebSub programs and additional topics brought up by the attendees.
2:45-3:15 p.m. Exhibit Hall Break
3:15-4:30 p.m. Roundtable: Comptroller – Under 40,000
Speakers: Ms. Shannon Murphy, Assistant Director, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Rick Parker, Manager, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Mr. Philip Chaimongkol, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Ms. Taliea Pocaigue, Tax Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
In this roundtable discussion about Comptroller topics, a TACA moderator will be present in each session and accompanied by Comptroller staff. The topics include: Truth-N-Taxation resources and where to obtain forms and reference materials from the Property Tax Assistance Division. Additionally, MV sales tax issues including AG/timber renewals, commercial transportation companies, federal and state specific provisions, religious and nonprofit purchases, business transfers, unavailable sales prices, leasing, salvage transactions, month-end reporting, and gift tax and heirships.​

Roundtable: Motor Vehicle – 40,000 to 200,000
Speakers: Mr. Clint Thompson, Chief of Title Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Candy Southerland, Chief of Registration Services, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Ms. Charlotte Kirk, Manager VTR Division, Houston RSC
In this roundtable discussion about motor vehicle topics, a TACA moderator will be present in each session and accompanied by TxDMV staff. The topics include: commissions, processing and handling fees, centralized payment processing, inspection verification, fraudulent VIRs, RTS/Cognos reports and balancing, NMVITS errors and reports, public and dealer mail, WebDealer and WebSub programs and additional topics brought up by the attendees.

Roundtable: Property Tax – 200,000 and up
Speaker: Mr. Matthew Tepper, Attorney, McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen PC
In this roundtable discussion about property tax topics, a TACA moderator will be present in each session and accompanied by an attorney from a delinquent tax law firm. The topics include: homestead payment agreements, vehicle inventory collection practices, quarter pay installment plans, honoring postmark when unavailable from USPS, returned checks and e-checks, refunds and mailing to agents and mortgage companies.
4:30-5:15 p.m. DMV Liaison Subcommittee: Steering
5:15-6 p.m. DMV Liaison Committee
8-11 p.m. Bingo!
 
Wednesday, June 12 - Wear Your TACA Shirt Day
7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Registration Open
7:30 a.m.-noon TACA Store Open
7:30-8:45 a.m. Past-Presidents' Breakfast
8:30-11:30 a.m. Exhibit Hall Open
9-10:45 a.m. TACA Business Meeting
The TACA Business Meeting is for Tax Assessor-Collectors. Deputies and staff should attend the deputy sessions in the Expo Hall C for additional continuing education.
9-10:15 a.m. DEPUTY SESSION: "Success and Less Stress through Communication Skills"
Speaker: Stephen “Doc” Watson, President, Seneca Consulting
Learn how to train tax office deputies and staff to successfully communicate with co-workers and customers to resolve difficult issues and create a stress-free work environment.
10:15-10:45 a.m. DEPUTY Exhibit Hall Break
10:45-11:15 a.m. TAC Exhibit Hall Break
10:45 a.m.-noon DEPUTY SESSION: "Creating Loyal Fan Customers"
Speaker: Stephen "Doc" Watson, President, Seneca Consulting
Tax office deputies will be trained on how to have amazing customer service that transcends the stigma of government service. Attendees will be provided tips and tools that will help customers understand difficult situations and become loyal fans of local government offices.
11:15 a.m.-noon TACA Business Meeting (continued)
Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch on your own
1:30-2 p.m. Breakout Sessions (choose one; sessions repeat at 2 p.m.)
“Texas Friendly” Spoken Here – Hospitality Habits for Great Customer Service
Speaker: Ms. Kathi Hughes, Director, Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center
This speaker will discuss hospitality habits regarding interactions with the public, and how to make sure they get their desired outcome and leave with a smile on their face.

Health and Wellness within Your Office to Promote Ethical Behavior – Expo Hall A2
Speaker: Ms. Shameria Davis, Wellness Consultant, Texas Association of Counties
Find out how prioritizing fitness and health in your daily life as county employees. By having a healthy mind and body, people think more clearly promoting a more ethical workplace environment.

Media Awareness to Support Customer Service
Speaker: Mr. Angel San Juan, Investigative Reporter, KFDM/Fox4
This speaker will discuss media interactions with the tax office. By knowing the best way to handle the media, you will be able to provide effective messages to your constituents, allowing for increased customer service.
2-2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions (repeated)
"Texas Friendly" Spoken Here – Hospitality Habits for Great Customer Service
Speaker: Ms. Kathi Hughes, Director, Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center

Health and Wellness within Your Office to Promote Ethical Behavior – Expo Hall A2
Speaker: Ms. Shameria Davis, Wellness Consultant, Texas Association of Counties

Media Awareness to Support Customer Service
Speaker: Mr. Angel San Juan, Investigative Reporter, KFDM/Fox4
2:30-3 p.m. Refreshment Break
3-3:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions
How to Effectively Use Your Association Listserv for Maximum Results in Customer Service to Your Constituents
Speaker: Ms. Dawn Noufer, Program Manager, Texas Association of Counties
This session will provide tips on how to use the TACA listserv to get maximum results from your questions and concerns, and to build peer relationships that best assist your constituents with great customer service.

Embezzler in the Tax Office: Steals More Than Just Money! How to Identify Fraud and Establish an Office Based on Ethics
Speaker: Hon. Billie Page, Tax Assessor-Collector, Angelina County
Hear the recounting of an experience stemming from fraud in a tax assessor-collector’s office. Learn how to detect the signs and avoid the same fate. This session will expand on the best ways to train staff for spotting fraud and encouraging your team to report fraud to maintain ethics within the county tax office.

Maximizing Postage to Service Your Citizens – Expos Hall A3
Speaker: Mr. Jim Cote, President, The Master’s Touch, LLC
This session will review the postal service and its pricing strategy, as well as discuss ideas and concepts to managing postage options.
3:45-4:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Speaker: Ms. Julie Aronow, Manager, Boat Titling, Registration & Marine Licensing, Texas Park & Wildlife Department
This overview of Texas Parks & Wildlife functions will provide an update of new laws and procedures for handling boat transactions.

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Speakers: Hon. Albert Uresti, Tax Assessor-Collector, Bexar County
Mr. Clark Smith, General Counsel, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Ms. Jo Ann Joseph, Director of Licensing, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Representatives from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will provide an update of new laws and procedures regarding collection of TABC licenses.

Regulating Title Services to Prevent Fraud and Maintain Great Service
Speakers: Ms. Ellen Hayes, Motor Vehicle Director, Dallas County
Ms. Dorothy Starr, Motor Vehicle Director, Tarrant County
This presentation will discuss how to start and manage a title service program. We will examine regulations that assist with creating efficiencies and preventing fraud prevention, all while providing customers and dealerships with great service.
6 p.m. Offsite EventMoody Gardens Pyramids and Banquet
6:15 p.m. TAC Photo – ALL Elected Tax Assessor-Collectors should be in this photo!
6:30 p.m. Installation of Officers, Presentations & Awards
7 p.m. Dinner
 
Thursday, June 13
7:30-8:45 a.m. New Board Meeting & Breakfast
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration Desk Open
9-10 a.m. 86th Legislative Update
Moderator: Ms. Vicki Truitt, Founder, VTruitt Consulting
Speakers: Hon. Dade Phelan, Representative, Texas House of Representatives
Hon. Brandon Creighton, Senator, Texas Senate
Hon. Senfronia Thompson, Representative, Texas House of Representatives
This moderated panel discussion with elected officials will focus on what happened during the 86th legislative session and how TACs can continue to work with legislators in the future.
10-10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Ethics for County Tax Assessor-Collectors
Speaker: Mr. Edward Lopez, Attorney, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
This session will facilitate the V.G. Young-approved TACA course on ethics for county Tax Assessors and their teams. This is a TACA-approved course for certification.

Customer Service to Build the Public Trust
Speakers: Hon. Tammy McRae, TACA Vice PresidentInternal and Tax Assessor-Collector, Montgomery County
Hon. John R. Ames, TACA Past President and Education Director, Dallas County
This session will facilitate the V.G. Young-approved TACA course on customer service in the county tax office. This is a TACA-approved course for certification.

Truth N Taxation Refresher
Speaker: Ms. Connie Rose, Director of Education, McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen PC
This session will serve as a summary and refresher of the Truth–in–Taxation process. We will discuss the ETR and RTR worksheets, the best place to get data and how to work with your entities to be successful.
12:15 p.m. Adjourn

Agenda subject to change prior to conference. Please check back for updates.

Applications for continuing education credit will be made for the Tax Assessor-Collector SB546 mandate, TACA designations and Comptroller/TDLR for attendees who may not be covered under SB546.

Cancellations and all refund requests must be received in writing (fax or email acceptable) by May 9. Refunds will not be given without a written request. After May 9, an administrative fee of $50 will be charged to offset guarantees given by TACA.

Please email or fax cancellations to Amy Lawson at (512) 477-1324.

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