We should find out today if a re-vote on recapture is in our future.
At their monthly meeting Thursday, trustees for the Houston Independent School Board will consider putting recapture back on the ballot.
In November, HISD voters rejected the traditional way to send a check to the state. Now HISD must pay with actual commercial property – almost $18 billion worth. In July, Education Commissioner Mike Morath is scheduled to detach that property and let another district, such as Alief or Aldine ISD, tax it instead. That’s known as detachment and will reduce HISD’s tax base.
“The only way we can be in this negotiation period is if we do not go into detachment,” HISD Board President Wanda Adams said.
“The homeowners are going to take the brunt of that, not the commercial properties, the homeowners. Right now it’s not a win-win for anyone, but right now at least we have them moving,” she added.
That’s why HISD may give voters another shot at the issue in May.
At the same time, HISD’s bill to the state has dropped by $55-60 million, according to state estimates. That’s more than a 30 percent drop from the original bill of $162 million.
See here for the background. One of the reasons why I was willing to vote No on recapture in November was the possibility that we could have a do-over in May if the Lege did not take action to mitigate the damage. Turns out we didn’t need the Lege to make something positive happen. I believe the No vote provided the impetus for that development. As such, I’m willing to vote for a reduced recapture bill if the Board sees fit to undertake one.
UPDATE: The Chron editorial board takes note of the developments.