Rep. Krusee’s Latest Scheme, Transportation Reinvestment Zones, Goes Down In Flames

Posted in 80th Legislature, Around The State, Road Issues, Williamson County at 4:43 pm by wcnews

A so called, transportation reinvestment zone (TRZ), appears to be a variation on tax increment financing (TIF). TIF’s were created as a tax abatement tool to use to revitalize “blighted” areas and, of course, with this crew they’d like to try them on transportation. They didn’t work for that very well. For a debunking of TIF’s go here, here and here. There’s also this great article from Fort Bend Now, The Politics Of Tax Breaks And Land Development, that describes Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ) that helps explain the concept. Best I can tell, so far, is TRZ’s are basically a scheme, to fund local road projects, by banking on future property valuation increases as a result of the development. And once the project is completed, using the future tax income to pay off the debt.

QR (again) has the story. With Krusee’s trust gone, and his power fading as fast as the Speakers, his old nemesis Rep. Joe Pickett (D - El Paso) got an amendment adopted to the bill which Krusee sponsored, SB 1266, that, for all intents a purposes, killed it.

Gimmick, after gimmick, after gimmick has been tried to find a way to get around raising and indexing the gas tax to fund our transportation needs in this state. And we’re still in the same mess. This is what almost 20 years of neglect have got us. Maybe that will be the silver lining if HB 1892 is vetoed and then overridden. Maybe, it will finally force legislators in Texas to get serious and do what’s right to fund transportation in Texas. Enough with the gimmicks already.

NOTE: Speaking of local roads, Consultant Mike Weaver says more are on the way, County prepares to spend more than half of road bond money.

Improvements to Chandler and Westinghouse roads are the most expensive of 20 proposed projects that could consume about 60 percent of the $228 million road bond package that voters approved in November. That’s based on a report that transportation consultant Mike Weaver presented to county commissioners last month. Details of the proposed projects could change slightly before commissioners offer final approval, but they had few suggestions after the presentation, county spokeswoman Connie Watson said.

For information on Krusee crony Mike Weaver click here.

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