Blog Posts

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

HouChronPic- downtown

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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Tax Subsidy for Downtown Redevelopment to Double

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The program that provides a $15,000 per unit to developers building in the Downtown District is poised to double. The proposal will increase the number of subsidized units from 2500 to 5000 residential units and increase the tax abatement to $75 Million. Houston Chronicle:  “Downtown views call to many suburbanites” For Krishnan Iyer, moving downtown meant a lot of things: Not having to use his car in auto-dependent Houston, being able to walk to work, to restaurants, to the movies.

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City Council Stakeholder Input Just Political Theater

City Hall Makes Aggressive Push for Animal Ordinance When I became aware of this proposal last fall, by chance really, I thought there would be some opportunity to engage BARC managers and Administration executives to help shape and mold this ordinance. I could not have been more mistaken! It’s important to remember that BARC was placed under the Regulatory Affairs Department (ARA), which is the group that issues permits and regulates various entities. There should be no surprise that the

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Two More Homicides in the Richmond Corridor

murder- westheimer jan 2014

                  (HPD Graphic of reported murder on 1/14) Another murder yesterday in the Richmond corridor (Pagewood-Rocky Road near the Tanglewilde subdivision) makes it two more in January. That means there have been thirteen murders, nine of which occurred in or near the apartments located in this community since January 1st, 2013. There were only four homicides in residential locations in the Westwood area over the same time period.  As I pointed out

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Homicide Hot Spot? How about the Richmond Corridor!

I’m back to posting after a long hiatus, and I hope to be more consistent and prolific over 2014. There’s much to do and say, and I’ll do so here as an individual, separate from my responsibilities with the Sharpstown Civic Association. Here we go:                 Frustrating is the nicest thing I can say about the latest piece in the Houston Chronicle (January 16th, 2014: “HPD concentrates on hot spots to reduce homicides”)

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Sharpstown Crime Surge? No, But The Galleria Is A Different Story

In response to the story: “HPD maps out spikes in criminal activity”; Anita Hassan, Houston Chronicle, May 25th 2012. Once a story takes hold it’s awfully hard to change it and that’s exactly what’s happened to Sharpstown, a neighborhood supposedly entangled in a drama of graffiti, gangs, and a surge of violent crime. It does make compelling news copy, but it could have and perhaps should have been written about the Galleria, not Sharpstown.

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