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Dr. J Thomas Smith

Source: Dr. J Thomas Smith / Radio One Houston

Chapter 41 a Temporary Fix?

After trying to make sense of Proposition 1 for my Majic 102.1 listening audience today, I realized that the whole Chapter 41-Robin Hood law makes no sense.  The law, passed in 1993 was supposed to be a “temporary” fix.  But as is often the case in politics, the can got kicked down the road to be fixed in a future legislative session.  That session has not yet taken place.

The Lieutenant Governor has Failed to Act

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick could have addressed this matter last session.  However, he was not pressured to do so.  Therefore, nothing good for the people has happened. As provided by the Texas Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Texas Senate. Under the rules of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice.

HISD is Considered Property Wealthy

Because HISD is considered “property-wealthy”, it is required to make a “recapture” payment to the state under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code. That payment will be $162 million for the 2016-17 school year. What are the choices for paying the anticipated $162 million owed to the state?  That is where Proposition 1 comes in.

Proposition 1 Consequences

• Option 1: If voters favor the measure, HISD will start paying the $162 million to the state next spring. The District would keep on making yearly recover installments for a long time to come.

• Option 2: If HISD voters don’t approve  the measure, HISD would then lose taxes of about $18 billion on prime business property within the district next July. The law permits the Texas Education Administration to assign those taxes  to another school district.  It seems this could be a lose-lose proposition.   To help you to make the best decision on Proposition 1, here are FAQ on 2016-2017 Recapture.  Read more:

or copy and paste the link below:

externalfile:drive-4c401f67144fc790cf7adde3ff2f6833ab1c77d6/root/Chapter 41 Questions and Answers.pdf

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