Houston Debt poised to skyrocket via TIRZ program, while City Charter bars new debt for Street projects.

TIRZ 20 FIVE YEAR snip

ReBuild Houston PAY-GO (or pay as you go) financing was a bold story, designed to persuade just enough voters to pass a $100 million annual drainage fee (tax). A key feature of the ReBuild Houston program was that we were to no longer issue new debt for street and drainage projects. Over time as the existing debt would be paid down, more cash flow would be available to directly pay for projects. So, you see, just be patient, it will

Continue Reading

Invisible Government – Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones in Houston- Texas Public Policy Foundation Panel – Jan 2017

Invis Gov SPLASH

(Panelists: Charles Blain, Sen. Sylvia Garcia, CM Larry Green- District K, Jim Bigham) With Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s recent spotlight on the tremendous resources  carefully partitioned off within the City of Houston’s Tax Increment Zones (TIRZ), I thought this would be a good time to revisit a policy discussion held earlier this year about this so-called invisible government. I joined Charles Blain with Empower Texans, along with Sen. Sylvia Garcia and Council Member Larry Green –

Continue Reading

Post-Harvey Review: HFD problems, with no effective plan for vulnerable neighborhoods

Coast Guard in Bonham Acres

Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In the post Harvey world many Houstonians are interested in the details of what happened and who among our H-Town leaders performed at a high level, and which were a failure. It’s not enough to just pat the City Hall administration on the back and say, well, we could have never dreamed of such a disaster. As pointed out by the Houston Chronicle’s editorial team, we knew, so did our leaders,

Continue Reading

Turner Tragedy Tax Falls as Governor Questions Resources in Houston TIRZ Accounts

Turner Tragedy tax hearing

Photo: Houston Chronicle It’s been a busy few weeks as Mayor Turner worked to take advantage of the Hurricane Harvey tragedy by placing a tax hike on the agenda for City Council to consider next month. At the last possible date permitted under state law, Turner placed a proposed increase on the table for the city’s property tax rate,  a rate not normally permitted by the voter approved revenue cap.  The City Charter allows for such a change given a

Continue Reading

Civic Club Leaders, Govt. Officials Attempt to Block Restaurant, Redevelopment Efforts – PART TWO

Gene Wu Sharpstown Civic Meeting - Oct 20-2016

Rep. Gene Wu (HD-137) remarks about Prime Daiquiri at Sharpstown Civic Meeting, October 2016. PART TWO After Bill Henderson approved the TABC application for Sam Mene’s Prime Daiquiri, more information comes to light about how hard civic leaders and elected officials worked to block this new business. Local Govt. Officials Make Every Effort to Block TABC Permit and Business  Rep. Gene Wu filed HB 1436 in February at the urging of the Sharpstown Civic Association (SCA), an additional step to

Continue Reading

Civic Club Leaders, Govt. Officials Attempt to Block Restaurant, Redevelopment Efforts – PART ONE

Hearing Menville April 17

Protest Hearing, April 17th, 2017- Harris County Commissioners Court: Center to Right : Bill Henderson (Hearing Master), Sheila Lindsey-Sanders, (TABC Attorney), Pat Menville (SCA President) SHARPSTOWN, Houston, Texas — Many often wonder why Sharpstown continues to have, not withstanding the Chinatown corridor, a stagnant if not declining retail sector. Well, recent events make it clear that elected officials at the urging of civic club leaders can make it quite difficult to successfully invest in southwest Houston. The just published issue

Continue Reading

Community Alert: Important information relating to the City of Houston Capital Projects Meeting

CIP TIRZ SNIP

The annual community meeting related to the City of Houston capital improvement plan (or CIP) is to be held this week on Tuesday, Feb 28th, at 6:30 pm at the Sharpstown Community Center, 6600 Harbor Town Dr. Mayor Turner and the At-Large Council Members are expected to attend, along with short presentations by the Public Works and Parks departments. There should be some opportunity for public input and Q &A, but it varies by district, with some council members allowing

Continue Reading

City Council Approves $152 Million in New Debt Without Voter Knowledge or Approval

coh-tirz-snip

With little fanfare and without voter approval, Houston City Council recently signed off on $150 million in new debt, divided up among the over two dozen Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones or TIRZ. The Uptown and Memorial City TIRZs budgets provide for a combined $118 million in new debt in 2017. The new debt will generally need no further council approval, with total TIRZ debt rising to $620 million during this fiscal year alone.  This seems to stand in contrast to

Continue Reading

Site Footer