HISD "Robin Hood" payments back on ballot

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- You know about Robin Hood, right? You take from the rich and give to the poor, that's great if you are poor, not so nice if you are rich. The way the state of Texas thinks HISD is rich and needs to give money to the poor, a lot of money.

That's $168 million that the state says HISD has to fork over to help pay for underfunded schools across Texas.

The HISD School Board asked voters to decide back in November about how to pay that money back, and voters rejected the traditional method of giving the cash to the state in the form of a check, so now the district is faced with losing $8 billion from its property roll tax base as a consequence of the vote.

A deal has been worked out with the state to cut HISD's liability to just $77 million this year, but voters have to approve the deal.

HISD says losing the taxable property could cause tax increases for Houston's businesses, with some businesses paying higher tax rates than their next-door neighbors. HISD says In addition, detachment of property could hurt HISD's ability to pay back bonds, which could lead to budget cuts, or cause tax increases on remaining property owners.

The board decided to send the issues to the voters. If approved by the voters, the so called "recapture," would keep the tax base the same, but see $77 million leave the district

The vote is May 6th, so mark your calendars.
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