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Twenty-eight minority land owners filed a lawsuit in Fort Bend County Court against Fort Bend County’s judge, its chief appraiser, its tax assessor-collector, the Lamar Independent School District, and two law firms. They allege that their taxes have gone up much faster than the taxes for white owners of equivalent property. The plaintiffs are all African-Americans and/or Hispanics.
Addicting Info
The plaintiffs all have low to moderate incomes and their families have been on the land for generations, on property ranging from small lots to 100 acre spreads. They have managed, despite their low incomes, to pay their taxes and keep the land in their families. Now, the taxes have gone so high that they can longer make the payments. The families have observed the following:

    “… that before the growth came to the Fulshear area, sometime before the year 2006 and prior, land owned by minorities valued by Fort Bend County Appraisal District was at $4,000-$4,500 per acre, while land owned by whites was around $20,000 per acre; growth hit and the value of minority’s property jumped to $41,000 an acre while whites $22,000-$23,000 per acre.”

So minorities were reappraised at 1000% higher while whites were reappraised at 10% higher, roughly speaking. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Roughly speaking, I smell a capybara-sized rat.

Fort Bend County is south-west of Houston and is transitioning from rural to exurban, with the resulting population increase.

Fort Bend is one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties and the growth has been outstripping available land. Between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, when the taxes began to rise, the county’s population grew by almost 5%.
Developers want land. Rich people wanting to live in exurbia want their McMansions, and don't want "those people" next door. And of course Bend County needs more roads and sewers and what have you, but can't ask the developers to pay for them, because that would be socialism. So - raise taxes on the undesirables, and kill 3 birds with one slimy racist stone.

Lovely.

10:41 AM PT: As pointed out by fb in the comments, this plan gets a fourth bird - the undesirables also don't get to vote once they have been forced to move, and Fort Bend County can preserve the purity of its electoral essence.


Originally posted to aardvark droppings on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:25 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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