Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 02/22/2018  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a review of the Tomball ISD discussion and vote regarding the 2017 reappraisal of flood damaged property located within The Woodlands Township and within the boundaries of the Tomball ISD (as requested by Director McMullan);
FISCAL IMPACT:
N/A
BACKGROUND:
The Township Board unanimously authorized on September 21, 2017, the reappraisal of storm damaged properties related to the Hurricane Harvey disaster event in accordance with Section 23.02 of the Texas Tax Code. The Board also directed Township staff to contact all overlapping taxing agencies that collect a property tax from properties within the Woodlands Township boundaries to request consideration be given to providing tax relief through reappraisals. On September 26, 2017, Township staff sent a letter to Tomball Independent School District (TISD) Superintendent Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora requesting TISD consider such property reappraisals (attached).
 
The Township Board on October 19, 2017, reaffirmed its request for a reappraisal by the Montgomery County Central Appraisal District and the Harris County Appraisal District with passage of Resolution 016-17 (attached), which was unanimously approved by all Directors present.
 
On January 15, 2018 the Tomball Independent School District (TISD) Board of Trustees held a regular scheduled board workshop. The workshop included a presentation by District Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross regarding 2017 property value reappraisals for properties damaged by 2017 flooding.
 
On February 13, 2018, the Tomball ISD board met in regular session. Included on the meeting agenda was Agenda Item J, a resolution approving property reappraisal for properties damaged by 2017 floods. Only one constituent spoke during public comment. He offered his support for the resolution. Board member Michael Pratt indicated at the beginning of Board discussion that he would be abstaining from the vote because of the impact of flooding on his employer. The TISD website indicates that Mr. Pratt is employed as a director by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Board Member Sam Gregson spoke briefly of his support for the resolution. Board President John McStravick acknowledged the plight of flooded residents, including his brother’s family, but indicated he could not support a reappraisal based in part on the low number of impacted properties to the total of all taxable properties, the fact that the TISD Board had not provided similar relief on flood impacted properties in prior disasters and the unknown total financial impact to the TISD.
 
A vote was taken. The measured failed by a 3-3-1 vote. Based upon a review of the meeting video, it appears that Mr. Sam Gregson, Ms. Kathy Handler and Mr. Lee McLeod voted in favor of the resolution. Mr. Mark Lewandowski, Mr. Matt Schiel and Mr. John McStravick opposed the amendment.  Mr. Pratt abstained as cited earlier.
 
TISD sent a letter (attached) to some number of residents within the jurisdiction, indicating that reappraisal would not be considered.  The letter cited several reasons for the decision: (1) the low number of impacted properties compared to all taxable properties, (2) the high cost of reappraisal that would have to be spread to all taxpayers, (3) the negative impacts on the next fiscal year due to delays in 2018 appraisal results and (4) the result for those flooded would be no more than a partial reduction for one third of the tax year. 

The Woodlands Township has no authority over Tomball Independent School District or the elected School District Board of Directors.
 
RECOMMENDATION:
Receive and file the report.
Attachments
Letter from Township to Tomball ISD
Letter to Tomball ISD to resident


    

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