Comment of the Day: Holding Back the Onslaught on a Galleria Mod

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOLDING BACK THE ONSLAUGHT ON A GALLERIA MOD “There’s not too much respect for older architecture in Houston. I own a three family near the Galleria. My building was designed by Neuhaus and Taylor and was featured in ‘Houston and the Mod House.’ The developers are sniffing around trying to make deals for the whole street. I may reach a point of diminishing returns soon and be forced to sell. One of the reasons is that the city keeps raising the property taxes so high in ‘hot’ areas by comparing old buildings to the new ratables and raising the old assessments by thousands at a time. At some point you can’t afford to pay the bills with a density of three units on the property. A developer will come in, buy the whole cul de sac, and put up a tower so he can make a lot more money per sq. ft. from the land than we can. When you protest taxes, HCAD listens and lowers the amount a tiny amount. Thus, the little guy is eventually forced out.” [Gary Andreasen, commenting on Comment of the Day: How Houston Tears Down and Sprawls] Illustration: Lulu

13 Comment

  • Isn’t that how it is supposed to work?

  • Welcome to Houston

  • “Thus, the little guy is eventually forced out.”

    “Isn’t that how it is supposed to work?”

    No, that is how it is currently working, not how taxpayers are supposed to be treated….

  • Urban Economics and the development of cities in one blog post.

  • What was there before your 3 unit was built? Was the guy prior to you forced out for the same reasons?

  • HCAD is supposed to put a market value on properties. We can debate how accurately they do that, plus the impact of the high-dollar consultants used by big office and industrial property owners. But when a property’s value goes up because the market is demanding density in an area, don’t blame HCAD. It’s just the same economic forces that turned Manhattan from farmhouses into skyscrapers.

  • Local Planner,

    And if they had been around then, half of the swampies would have complained about every building ruining the character of the neighborhood/causing traffic/being nothing but a square box every step of the way from farmhouses to skyscrapers.

  • So the writer is saying he should be able to hold onto an increasingly valuable parcel and not pay taxes on the increase in value to the local authority? He would just pay a capital gain to the Feds at the reduced rate…Wow! If real estate in Texas worked like that no one would do any other business.

    Of course for those of us who love to see vast sees of vacant parking lots around downtown this would be a real winner.

  • Supply and demand

  • My heights rental went up 21% in value this year even though the neighborhood only went up 4%. I fought. HCAD wouldn’t listen. Hard to tell your renters you need to bump up rent to appease an overzealous taxing authority.

  • that’s the funny thing, homeowners will complain while knowing full well that multifamily dociles are getting hit much harder than they are. everybody hates the renter while ignoring the generational inequities we have in wealth these days.

    of course property taxes will go up like crazy here, you live in a state with no state income tax. can be easily resolved by moving to any one of the majority of states with a different taxing scheme.

  • What the poster is subtly suggesting is California’s Prop 13.

  • The city hasn’t raised its tax rate since 1995.