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#1 2009-08-24 21:32:04

Kevin
Administrator
From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

The Chronicle's Bradley Olson reported today that the City and County are in negotiations to use TIRZ revenues to finance a soccer stadium, a jail, and Astrodome redevelopment:

The city of Houston and Harris County are negotiating a deal that could pave the way for construction of a new soccer stadium, a new jail and the redevelopment of the Astrodome, according to officials taking part in the talks.

The negotiations, which have been under way for several months and are reaching their final stage, focus on the use of tax increment reinvestment zones, or TIRZ, as vehicles for the major capital projects.

No real details follow, but one official apparently stressed, in all seriousness, the "complete transparency" of all these dealings that the public knows nothing about.

A couple of notable reactions immediately surfaced online. Bllogger Tom Kirkendall tweeted about the absurd reference to transparency:

Local Houston officials promise "transparency," then essentially offer none in Chron article.

Blogger Scott Henson raises a potentially sticky issue:

This seems like a pretty blatant misuse of the TIRZ statute, which was created to encourage private economic development, not to override the will of the voters in bond elections.

Indeed, it's hard to see how Harris County can justify using a TIRZ to build a jail. By law, the county must certify that projects built "will significantly enhance the value of all the taxable real property in the zone," but a jail won't increase property values.

We can't wait until our transparent officials elaborate on all these details, so the public and can try to sort it all out.

What do you think?



Link to post:  http://www.bloghouston.net/item/7809

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#2 2009-08-25 09:52:45

kjb434
Member
From: Cottage Grove - Houston
Registered: 2007-07-23
Posts: 630

Re: Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

While I in general like TIRZ's (when managed right), I'm having a hard time seeing the public benefit to a stadium.  A jail may provided a benefit, but as you pointed out, it doesn't bode well to boost property values (which are needed for a TIRZ to operate correctly).

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#3 2009-08-25 11:53:35

rorschach
Member
From: Spring, Texas
Registered: 2005-01-05
Posts: 3,926
Website

Re: Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

TIRZ issues aside, why not turn the Dome into the jail? kill two birds with one stone.....


http://redinktexas.blogspot.com/
"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
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#4 2009-08-25 11:59:16

Ubu Roi
Moderator
From: Houston
Registered: 2005-11-24
Posts: 1,766
Website

Re: Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

Clearly, Bill White is only against TIRZ's when it suits him.


Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  But they have no idea they're in a re-run.
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#5 2009-08-26 15:24:51

kjb434
Member
From: Cottage Grove - Houston
Registered: 2007-07-23
Posts: 630

Re: Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

You got that right Ubu.

When White entered office, he reigned in on TIRZ's and said the city will create no more of them, but in his term we have seen the greatest expansion of the existing TIRZ districts.  TIRZ # 5 anyone?  (Memorial Heights).

Last edited by kjb434 (2009-08-26 15:25:13)

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#6 2009-08-26 18:05:00

CK
Member
From: Rice Military
Registered: 2005-04-28
Posts: 640

Re: Local officials promise "transparency," offer few details on stadium/jail/Astrodome TIRZ deal

Gawd.  White kills me.  What a crock.  Typical democrat.  Every time he opens his mouth, the truth cannot be found in anything he utters.

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