Transparency for TIRZs
Transparency is the foundation for accountability.
Abbie Kamin believes the appropriate use of Tax Increment Refinancing Zones (TIRZs) and Local Government Corporations (LGAs) can improve infrastructure, save tax dollars, focus resources on blighted areas, enhance the city’s ability to provide a high quality of life for our residents, and provide a measure of local control over spending decisions.
These tools also have downsides – most notably depriving the city’s general fund of much needed tax revenue. Ideally, these entities would not be necessary. But because Houston has no zoning and is constrained by its voter-approved revenue cap, they are useful.
That’s why Abbie supports reforms that would make TIRZs and LGAs more transparent and accountable to those whom they serve. She supports the proposal by Your Houston PAC to make TIRZ and LGA meetings more transparent by:
Recording and live-streaming every TIRZ and LGC meeting, in the way that City Council meetings are broadcast
Posting meeting agendas, minutes, and videos on dedicated websites that are updated monthly
Requiring TIRZ and LGC meetings to be held at locations accessible and near the community
Abbie also wants to take a hard look at requiring TIRZ or LGC meetings to be held at times that are also more accessible for the community.
Additionally, Abbie will work with the administration to make sure TIRZs in particular are including sidewalks in their work plans.