HISD board to receive overview of financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on district

The Houston Independent School District Office of Budgeting and Financial Planning will make a presentation on the financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on the district to the HISD Board of Education during the board’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Last month, the board voted to call a May 6 election to ask voters if the district should pay its recapture obligation to the State of Texas by sending lower recapture payments to the state or through detachment of commercial property in July.

Previously, HISD’s recapture obligation was estimated at $162 million. Under the Texas Education Agency’s recent announcement of recognizing half of the local homestead exemption, along with adjustments made to student enrollment and property value figures, HISD is now subject to a reduced $77.5 million recapture obligation or the removal of about $8 billion dollars’ worth of non-residential, commercial properties from HISD’s tax roll.

Under Texas law, recapture, also known as the “Robin Hood” school finance law, requires school districts with property values above a certain amount per student to give local property tax dollars to the state. Authorizing the board to issue a recapture payment to the state will mean that the district will continue to make annual recapture payments as long as its property wealth grows.

Detachment involves the removal of valuable commercial properties from HISD’s tax roll. The properties would be assigned to a neighboring school district for taxing purposes. This would be the first time in Texas history that the state would detach property to get a district below the equalized wealth level. Under current law, those commercial properties will be permanently detached and would result in a future loss of tax collections from these properties for district operations.

HISD’s school board, superintendent, and legislative team continue to push for additional financial relief at the state level and for a school finance system that does not over-rely on local property tax dollars to fund public education.

The district created a website with information on recapture and detachment at HoustonISD.org/Recapture.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. Click here to view the full agenda. The board meeting will be broadcast live online at www.hisdtv.org and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99.