Council Members Vow To Pull Proposed TIRZ Annexation

Dec. 16, 2014Houston Public Media

Should the Midtown TIRZ, or Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, be expanded into parts of Montrose and the Museum District?

That’s what a series of public meetings aims to determine.

Houston currently has 25 such zones designed to attract new development by funneling taxes into those areas.

But the meeting made clear not everyone likes to live in a TIRZ.

Daphne Scarbrough, who owns a small business on Richmond, said it’s a duplication of city services.

“It’s not responsive to the public. They really have nothing to offer our area,” she said. “And to include my area of Richmond Avenue and Shepherd as Midtown is a misnomer. We have nothing to do with that.”

The Houston City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed expansion this week. Council member Ellen Cohen — who represents the Montrose area — plans to call for a vote referring it back to the city administration.

Cohen said the process started without enough resident input, which led to the public meetings.

“We are starting from ground zero,” she said. “If there is going to be an involvement with Montrose and a TIRZ, we start talking about it after the first of the year.”

Cohen would like to see a revamped proposal go before the city council by May.