In response to the article ("County extends agreement to fund Lago Mar TIRZ," The Daily News, Nov. 8): The cost to the county of this new agreement is over $42.5 million. You read that right; in case it seems unbelievably high. As a county taxpayer, I’m disappointed in Commissioners Stephen Holmes, Darrell Apffel and Joe Giusti.

When ordinary taxpayers make property improvements, we have to pay higher taxes immediately; we don’t get to reinvest the new tax dollars back into our own property and neighborhoods like TIRZ developers do. It’s unfair that they don’t play by the same rules.

This vote will keep the Lago Mar development off the tax rolls for an additional 10 years, putting the lie to the argument that TIRZes benefit the public when in reality they delay improvements from being added to the tax rolls and divert the taxes from those improvements to themselves.

To add insult to injury, the lobbyist for this giveaway was Sue Darcy, who's paid with county tax funds to “manage” the Lago Mar TIRZ. Like the rest of the myriad lawyers, accountants, etc., that make up the cottage industry of TIRZ consultants, her loyalty is to the developer.

Hats off to Judge Mark Henry and Commissioner Ken Clark for opposing this boondoggle: You showed your commitment to fairness, fiscal responsibility and good government.

Elizabeth Beeton

Galveston

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(5) comments

Jack Cross

Elizabeth Beeton got it wrong about the "County extends agreement to fund Lago Mar TIRZ". This is just an extension of an existing TIRZ as a result of the delay caused by the 2008 economic downturn. This is a large development with the developer paying for all the infrastructure. over 4,000 homes will be built on both sides of I-45. It will include a new fire station including first responders that can service this entire area. I don't know where she came up with the $42 million cost to the county. The county has for a number of years set the tax rate at the effective tax rate. As long as this continues, the county will gain from homeowners paying taxes along with a boost in the sales tax. Ms. Beeting is on the Port Board ,she needs to work on getting more revenue for the port of Galveston.

Leigh Cowart

In GDN January 31, 2005, TJ Aulds,

"Developers seek formation of MUDs" and on the ballot Nov 2019 the MUD #59 asking for Prop A,B,C & D for bond money to the tune of $456,895,000 for infrastructure, facilities and maintenance of the development. BTW, it only took 2 votes to pass, no doubt paid for by the developer with those 2 votes living in a trailer on the property, most likely free rent in exchange for their vote. The news segment was on TV by the reporter on Channel 2.

So in addition to the bond money to assist in the development the County created a special zone over $42.5 million additional dollars???

Elizabeth Beeton has been a city council member and had clearly stated and voted her opinion on TIRZ in the past. I thank her for standing up and being a voice....I'm listening.

I see nothing wrong with speaking out and voicing displeasure at all the taxpayer waste and shady lobbying. When will we all say enough?

Don Schlessinger

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Elizabeth Beeton

I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier in the day, Mr. Cross. Commissioner Holmes gave me the $42.5 million figure. He said that Sue Darcy provided it to him.

Curtiss Brown

The County's policy for engaging in this TIRZ was to make sure the County's portion paid for major transportation infrastructure. While ultimately these are municipal improvements paid for with the County's tax rate (on new taxable property) they still connect to State highways or county roads. TIRZ is a much better option than tax abatement. Essentially, a TIRZ raises the priority level of various projects on the capital improvement list. It raises the priority because it presents an opportunity for a developer to pay for the improvements fronting the costs on only the prospect of being paid back by the success of the project.

Recently, the City of Galveston proposed closing TIRZ 14 - The Airport TIRZ - turning their back on almost $5 million worth of future County taxes for municipal projects. The City feels it is better for City Council to set the priorities rather than TIRZ funding. That is their option. TIRZ 14 is a Community TIRZ, not a Developer TIRZ. It exists to benefit the community and if Council wishes to close it that's just fine.

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