April 19, 2006
Not such a troublemaker after all

I have to say, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson's office puts out some of the more entertaining press releases that I get:

AUSTIN - Even as legislators are set to consider proposed sin taxes to help resolve the school finance dilemma, the director of the feature film "Sin City" is helping earn money for public education in Texas.

Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based filmmaker and owner of Troublemaker Studios, and Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, recently signed an agreement that will earn Texas school children $2.2 million over the next 10 years.

"Robert Rodriguez has a new landlord - and it's the school children of Texas," said Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office and chairman of the School Land Board. "This agreement earns a solid return for the state's Permanent School Fund and is yet another example of the innovative ways the Land Office is making money for public schools."

In August 2005, the Permanent School Fund bought the old Aircraft Pooling Board site at the former Robert Mueller Airport. The 21.5-acre property includes two hangars, a large outdoor paved area, and several offices and storage areas.

Troublemaker Studios is currently working on a new project with Quentin Tarantino. The production company produced all three of the "Spy Kids" movies, as well as the "Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl."

As part of the lease agreement, the production company must return the facilities on the lot to their original condition, or better, by the time the 10-year contract expires. So far, Troublemaker Studios has improved hangars, added office spaces, lighting and air conditioning to facilities on the lot.

"We at Troublemaker are so proud of our connection to this community," said Elizabeth Avellan, co-owner of Troublemaker Studios. "I'm overjoyed that we have found a way to provide a steady contribution to the education of the children of our state."

Obviously, $2.2 million is relatively small change in the world of school finance. But that's not the point. What matters is that this is a basically no-cost revenue stream for the Permanent School Fund, and the kind of thinking that led to this solution should be rewarded and encouraged. Kudos to all involved.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 19, 2006 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

And how much did the state pay for the property to begin with?

Posted by: sabestian on April 19, 2006 7:47 AM