Re-interview with David Thompson

Last year, I published an interview with attorney David Thompson, who has worked with HISD for a long time on legislative and financial matters, including on the endless litigation over school finance, to discuss the November referendum on recapture. He clarified a lot of items, such as the wording of the referendum, the things that could be done to affect how much HISD would be required to pay, and what a No vote would mean, and in the end he endorsed a vote against the referendum in the hope of spurring action. Since then, as we know, the Texas Education Agency has indeed taken action that reduces HISD’s recapture payments, and the HISD Board of Trustees has put the item up for a vote again on May 6, with early voting from April 24 through May 2. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to talk to Thompson again about what has changed and why a Yes vote this time around makes sense. Here’s our conversation:

As noted, early voting begins April 24 and runs through May 2. Here are your early voting locations and hours, not just for HISD but also for (deep breath) City of Humble, City of Pasadena, Humble Independent School District, Northgate Crossing Municipal Utility District 2, Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District 28, Oakmont Public Utility District, and Harris County Water Control & Improvement District 91.

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2 Responses to Re-interview with David Thompson

  1. Doris Murdock says:

    Thank you for the detailed interview. In November, I voted yes for paying the recapture, given that the consequences of losing taxes on valuable real estate seemed to me catastrophic, especially as a real estate agent. I suspected that Mayor Turner’s position against recapture meant that he understood how the lege worked better than me, and I knew we’d have ‘second chance’ to vote. Still, I wasn’t willing to take the risk.

    I certainly hope the recapture passes in May. I hope the leaders who urged no votes last fall are able to explain to the populace how the amount has been lowered significantly, and how that means their positions reversed. The risk is will the voting public pay enough attention.

    The revelation that the Senate version of HB 21 would even consider not allotting all school taxes for schools makes my head explode. I’ll have to digest that before launching into a rant.

    We pay into 8 taxing entities, total, and are fortunate enough to have the over-65 exemption on our home and the school taxes frozen. However, we own a 750 SF rental house that our son and his wife occupy and pay rent, of course. We increased their rent by a $140 to account for the ridiculous increased evaluation. Evaluations and tax protests always are sources of financial stress.


  2. C.L. says:

    Doris, have you not considered gifting or selling the 750 sqft rental home to your son ? At least that way he’d qualify for the homestead exemption…

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