Blog Posts

Houston Press: Neighborhoods like Sharpstown are “Essentially Ignored”

Houston Press TIRZ SNIP

The Houston Press today published a lengthy piece on Tax Increment Zones, Management Districts, and their impact on city operations. The story includes a replay of the successful Sharpstown Section Two annexation by the TIRZ No. 20, but the opening this time is in Montrose. As noted previously, former council member Sue Lovell learned of the Midtown attempt to annex valuable parts of Montrose, a few days before the council vote and was able to rally enough people to squelch

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Why I Am Not Supporting Mike Laster for Another Term: Part Three

Tammany_Ring,_Nast_crop

                  Unlimited Dogs Next Door: Supporting the Administration at all costs Being a nice guy and having a pleasant persona is all well and good I suppose, but what most voters are looking for are results. So when issues facing our neighborhood arise, we look to our elected officials and our District J Council Member Mike Laster to be in the middle and protect our interests. Such is the case with three

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Why I am Not Supporting Mike Laster for Another Term: Part Two

Neighborhood Civic Association (almost) Collapses: Broke, No Staff, No Goodwill My first look into how Mike Laster operates occurred in early 2012, shortly after attending my first few meetings of the SCA Board as a new Director. These meeting dates were never announced to the membership but I attended, receiving a copy of the “financial report” for 2011. It seems that in Sept. of 2011 the SCA Board began paying just the late charges on the Constable patrol contract, deferring

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Why I Am Not Supporting Mike Laster for Another Term on City Council

The Way the Wind Blows (First in a five part series) Citizens of Sharpstown must have confidence that elected officials will listen and work in their best interests. In the case of Mike Laster’s representation of Sharpstown at City Hall, disappointment and the status quo might best describe the situation. After over dozen years of neighborhood involvement, and in his fourth year on City Council, Mike simply will not or cannot make the choices and provide the leadership we need.

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Tax Increment Zones (TIRZ) Expansions Designed to Beat Revenue Cap

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                          Photo Credit: F. Martin – Houston Public Media, Dec 15th  Montrose Town Hall Meeting The recent attention on TIRZ expansion across the City, from Gulfgate-Hobby Airport, Memorial City, and the delayed but surely to be approved Midtown-Montrose annexation, has created fresh questions and concern. Just last year the Uptown TIRZ annexed Memorial Park, and the SW Houston (Sharpstown) TIRZ, without neighborhood input, annexed portions of the Sharpstown

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Half Billion $ Tax Diversion: Westchase 380 is a ‘Synthetic TIRZ’ (Part Two)

Westchase District Aerial Shots

                      Image courtesy westchasedistrict.com UPDATE: The title was modified to correct the impression that this 380 abatement avoids the property tax revenue cap. It does not. In fact recent discussion and a proposal last year in the remaining months of the Parker Administration brought forward a proposal to convert this agreement to an actual TIRZ. TIRZ funds are not subject to the voter initiated, voter approved property tax cap. With

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Not-so-super TIRZ? That’s just the latest diversion: (First in a series)

                              I couldn’t say it more effectively than the Chronicle Editorial Board did recently as they identified the latest tax diversion boondoggle, the Greater Houston Zone TIRZ:  Houston Chronicle 7/24/2014: “Every time City Hall creates a TIRZ, it is a vote of no confidence in its own ability to properly collect and spend taxpayer dollars. It is a confession that Houston should be managed by unelected

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Chronicle Editorial Board Agrees – Downtown Subsidy Not Needed

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In a short but direct editorial in yesterday’s Houston Chronicle, questions were raised  about the need to abate $75 million in taxes to assist downtown developers, when other areas are in greater need. They even mentioned that it could be used for streets, which are terrible. Great incentives already are in place for developers to build in downtown Houston ($) The latest: Now, when our roads are in such disrepair, the city wants to use up to $75 million of

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