By: Roy Douglas Malonson
Point 1: Make sure you get out and vote on May 6th.Proposition 1 is back on the ballot and the community needs to make sure they are aware of what it includes! Vote AGAINST HISD Proposition 1!
It has been said that Prop. 1 is not for the Black community while others have turned their backs from their previously agreed status to now kissing the “others” backside.
Point 2: We, as Black people, must call out our elected officials who sell us down the river. We just called out a member of the U.S Congress. Now African-American News&Issues will address the Black Trustees on the Houston ISD (HISD) Board.
This is the year that we will hold everyone accountable as leaders.
There’s a new election approaching very soon that will replace our vote in November where we defeated the November proposition because we would have had to send back over $1 BILLION dollars of our Harris County tax dollars to the Texas general fund for bureaucrats to spend anywhere but in HISD. That in turn would have caused HISD to have to cut
- early childhood centers
- mentoring and tutoring programs
- mental health resources
- truancy prevention
- dropout reduction, college counseling and career technical education resources
- HISD would also have had to shut down schools and lay teachers off.
So now, African-American News&Issues is bringing the attention to those Black board members, and other elected officials who have failed to give us that valuable information on Prop. 1.
We are sick and tired of Black elected officials, who we elect to fight for us, rolling over when rich people threaten them. It was said that Texas Education Agency (TEA) threatened to take over HISD if they didn’t put Prop 1. back on the ballot… SO WHAT! It was also said that they got cussed out by legislators… SO WHAT!
“We the people elected the board members to do what we say not what other elected officials or appointed bureaucrats say!”
Then we hear that Rhonda Skillern-Jones whined about that at the board meeting explaining why the board needed to put this already-decided ballot measure back on the ballot. Now if this is true we are really saddened to hear this and she really needs to listen to us closely as the people and grow some courage.
The only thing that has changed since November is that
We know what specific properties will be detached
We know the tax rate
In November, we all guessed that the detached properties would be in the Galleria, downtown and other exclusive business centers. We also knew that the businesses would have to pay the tax rate of the district where they were detached to. So now we know specifically that it’s Aldine ISD.
So basic math:
HISD’s tax rate is 1.2067
Aldine ISD’s tax rate is 1.323388.
The difference between the two is .116688.
What this means is: for every million dollars a company pays $1,167 more. Let’s take the Texaco building. Its taxable value is $250,000,000 ($250 million dollars). Texaco would have to pay an extra $291,720 this year if it were detached, so of course rich businesses don’t want to be detached. It’s not in their best financial interest. What big companies save in taxes doesn’t affect less fortunate people at all. It’s not rocket science to understand why The Greater Houston Partnership and its affiliate businesses want HISD to pay Recapture payments and why they are running a campaign. I bet if you check campaign contributions to all the politicians who are for HISD to pay Recapture, they will have thousands of dollars of political contributions from The Greater Houston Partnership.
Even under the supposed revised 50% homestead break, the community will still have to pay more than they would have had to pay in November, where the measure was soundly defeated with over 60% of the vote.
Believe it or not, $2 million dollars or more would have to be paid under this new ballot measure, if it passes. It’s like a pay day loan. They want to make it appear that you will be paying less but they will eventually get you on the back end.
In the November election, we were going to have to pay $1.112 billion dollars. In this May election, we will have to pay $1.114 billion dollars. Also there is a lawsuit filed, filed after HISD got the supposed 50% homestead exemption, that says that the commissioner of the TEA didn’t have the authority to give us that break. As administrative law is currently written, he didn’t have the power to grant that exemption so we may end up paying the non-discounted rate anyway. African-American News&Issues will say it again, even if we pay the recapture payments instead of detachment our taxes are going to be raised. HISD will be forced to lay off teachers, shut down schools, cut valuable programming like early childhood centers, mentoring and tutoring programs, mental health resources, truancy prevention and dropout reduction, college counseling and career technical education resources.
And if history has taught us anything, when HISD doesn’t have enough money Black children are the ones who get screwed. It’s our schools that get closed and consolidated, our principals get replaced each year and we are the ones who don’t get qualified teachers. We are the ones who are going to get screwed, especially since we have two Black board members who vote with the White republican board members
My mother taught me a long time ago that we must pay attention to the past or we’re doomed to repeat it. Fact: every school district that voted to pay recapture instead of detach property testified that if they had it to do over again they would have voted to detach. They also testified that they had to raise taxes every year to try and recoup what they paid in recapture payments. Every one of them. If you don’t believe me, please click this link to hear and see the testimony: http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/committee-broadcasts/84/
Recapture payments have destroyed those districts and that’s what the republicans and our sellout trustees Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Wanda Adams will do to HISD. We need to hold the line and vote AGAINST purchasing attendance credits! Let’s tell Texas Education Agency (TEA) yet again, they need to detach property. We meant it in November and we mean it now.
BEWARE of any mail, or websites, or videos you get from “PAC for Houston Taxpayers for Quality Education (HTQE)!” The HTQE Political Action Committee (PAC) is really the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) disguised as legitimate people who care about us. They don’t! They only care about their property taxes not yours. As I told you earlier, Texaco will have to pay an additional $291,720 this year and even more next year. For those of you who don’t know, PAC is a tool used to fund its political agendas without telling you who they really are. It’s a way to hide their identity. Mostly rich people use PACs to fool people about who’s really pushing whatever evil agenda they have. In this case, it’s to take money directly from HISD so they don’t have to pay higher taxes. The HTQE is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. The GHP is made up of the wealthiest Houstonians, most of whom are white and have nothing in common with us. They never support us. They’ve made a video that pimps Black children as if they ever cared about us or our children. They are sending mail pieces to mostly white people in wealthy neighborhoods and asking them to vote yes and in that mail piece they have put a self-addressed stamped envelope for the white voters to request an absentee ballot and send it in on the GHP’s dime. On the flip side, they’ve hired some Black consultants, it’s frustrating how there’s always a Black person out there who will sell us out for a paycheck, to go to our Black churches and organizations and to walk door to door to sell us wolf tickets. Those same sell out Blacks will pimp our Black senior citizens by going to their homes, and act like they are helping them fill out absentee ballots and check “yes” and mail them in with self-addressed stamped envelopes. Don’t let them sucker your parents and grandparents. Make sure they vote “Against” Prop. 1.
The other part of the GHP’s Black election plan is to have the Black consultants set up meetings with Black pastors so those pastors will pass on the misinformation to their congregations. It’s a damned shame that our preachers don’t push what’s best for us but push whoever gives them the most money. Here’s what’s a damned shame, all it cost was lunches paid for at pastor meetings. It doesn’t take much to buy us. Ya’ll know our preachers sell themselves to the highest bidders. In case you don’t know, the Black consultants who have allowed themselves to be pimped by the GHP are Dallas Jones and Erica Fowler. If you see anything Dallas or Erica or the GHP or HTQE, run, run as fast as you can and vote just the opposite of what they ask you to do. What they want is not in the best interest of Black folks or the public schools that we depend on to educate our children.
Does this sound familiar? It should. It’s the same playbook the slave catchers used to get us into slavery. They found Africans who looked just like us to vouch for the “good white people” that ultimately sold other Africans into slavery. Please don’t let this slavery playbook work in 2017.
Tell Wanda Adams and Rhonda Skillern-Jones that all we want is for them to fight for us and stop picking money over people, our people and our children. VOTE AGAINST PROP 1.