Montrose biz owners take aim at unaccountable, Houston Way taxing entity
The Montrose Management District, not yet a year old, may be facing extinction.
During a tense meeting of the districtís board Friday, members voted unanimously to begin the process of verifying signatures on a petition by commercial property owners seeking the districtís dissolution.
From the outset, a group of small business owners have opposed the district, appearing at board meetings to voice their objections. Many claim that they were unaware of the districtís formation until last fall, when they received mailed notices of a meeting to set the property assessment.
Ever since, theyíve vowed to collect the number of signatures from property owners required by state law -- equal to 75 percent of the assessed commercial property in the district -- to force the board to dissolve the district.
On Sept. 29, they presented a signature [sic] with 1,003 signatures, representing what they claim 78.56 percent of the assessed property, to the districtís executive director, David Hawes of the firm Hawes Hill Calderon LLP.
Kudos to the business owners who are determined to abolish this unaccountable, secretive taxing entity that serves no useful purpose for the general public and was created virtually under cover of darkness by elites to benefit elites.
On that last -- It is worth noting the role that liberal Democrat Ellen Cohen, then state representative and now City Council candidate, played in creating this new, largely unaccountable taxing entity that apparently only government elites (and connected cronies) wanted and that is opposed by an overwhelming majority of those being taxed (so much for the principle of no taxation without representation, hmm).
Oh, and guess who is on the management district's Board? Mayor Annise Parker's "life partner" Kathy Hubbard! Neat, huh?
And as Ken Fountain reports, the firm of David Hawes "manages" many more of these unaccountable entities (some 20 or so, word has it) that tax Houston businesses -- talk about local government of, by, and for elites!
Given all the hyperventilating we've seen from local Dem partybloggers and the Chron editorial board (wait, is there a distinction?) about Gov. Perry and "crony capitalism," I'm sure we'll shortly see a flurry of opinion pieces in support of Montrose business owners' efforts to stand up to local political elites and connected Houston Way cronies/leeches. Right?
There's more information on this important fight at StopDistrict11.org. We wish them good luck in their efforts to shut down this entity, and think it's well past time to start reining in so many of these unaccountable/undemocratic taxing entities. It would also be helpful to remember enablers like liberal Democrat Ellen Cohen when one is voting.
BACKGROUND: The growing "Special District" problem in Texas.