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Businesses Must Report Taxable Property By April 2

Houston — If you own a business and have tangible personal property used to produce income such as office equipment or inventory, you must report that property to the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) by April 2.

The deadline to file a rendition is usually April 1, but because that date falls on a Sunday this year, the deadline is extended until Monday, April 2.

HCAD is reminding all business owners that they must report personal property to the appraisal district by filing a rendition listing the property.  Personal property is tangible property that can be owned, but it does not include land or other structures attached to the land such as buildings or fences.  Examples of personal property include computers, desks, chairs, office supplies, business inventory, machinery and vehicles used to produce income, along with other items used in the business.

A rendition is a report that lists all the taxable property the business owner owned or controlled on January 1 of this year.  Owners do not have to render exempt property, such as church property with an approved religious exemption or an agriculture producer’s equipment used for farming.

Some renditions may be filed electronically using HCAD’s iFileTM system.  If a unique iFileTMnumber is printed on the rendition form below the account number, the owner may render online by going to www.hcad.org and clicking “iFile A Rendition.”    If no iFileTM number is printed on the rendition form, the owner will need to complete and file the form manually.

“The appraisal district may use the information submitted in the rendition to set business property values,” said Roland Altinger, chief appraiser.

If a rendition is not filed, filed late or not complete, a 10 percent penalty may be imposed.  Filing a fraudulent rendition carries a 50 percent penalty if found guilty.

Property owners who need more time to file their renditions may file a written request with the chief appraiser on or before April 2 to receive an automatic extension to May 1.  The chief appraiser may also grant an additional 15 days after the postponed deadline, for good cause.

The appraisal district has already mailed personal property rendition forms to businesses known to have been operating in Harris County during 2017.   However, all business owners are required to file renditions whether or not they have received notification.   A rendition form is available on the appraisal district’s website at www.hcad.org under the “Forms” tab along with information on the rules of the process.

For more information about rendering property, deadline extensions, penalties and rendition forms, taxpayers may call the appraisal district’s Information Center at 713.957.7800.

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Houston Black Real Estate Association celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act during Its Annual “Realtist” Week, April 14 -21, 2018

 

Houston Realtists Focus on Growing Black Wealth Through Homeownership

Houston, Texas……… The Houston Black Real Estate Association, (HBREA) a local chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the country’s oldest, minority real estate trade association is planning a week-long series of events, April 14-21, 2018 in observance of the trade association’s dedication to increasing Black wealth through homeownership. This year, the association celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

In 1968, NAREB were the catalysts in bringing forward the ultimate lawsuit against the United States government that resulted in legislation of the Fair Housing Act.  Without this Legislation, hundreds of Black families would still face the multitude of racism and discrimination. Culminating the 50th Anniversary, Realtists will meet with policymakers and elected officials to ensure that affordable and sustainable homeownership is supported legislatively, through regulatory or other city planning means.

HBREA chapter president Kimberley Barnes-Henson says, “Our efforts will seek to educate and inspire the public about the never-ending struggle for equality, Democracy in Housing, and NAREB/HBREA role in the landmark effort. We fully understand de-facto desegregation and institutional racism remains a pervasive problem throughout the United States. Thus, as we illuminate the accomplishments of the last 50th years, we ask everyone to join in our current efforts to increase Black homeownership, and improve social and economic conditions for all disenfranchised people.”

Homeownership for Black Americans has been on a steady decline since 2004 when it reached its peak of nearly 50%.  As of the fourth quarter ending 2017 as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Black homeownership rate hovered nationally at 42.1% compared to the non-Hispanic White homeownership rate of just above 72.7%”.

As a result of these staggering numbers of Black homeownership “Realtist“ Week was created to combat the differences.  President Barnes-Henson further says, “Realists” Week events and activities raise awareness that Black homeownership not only strengthens the economic fabric of our city, but also increases the desirability of Houston’s many neighborhoods”.

For more information regarding sponsorship and participation, contact HBREA, 713-551-2092.  For media inquiry and to set-up interviews, contact Foston International, 866-922-2544 or jfoston@fostoninternational.com.

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Breaking News: Demontrae Jefferson lights up NC Central in NCAA First Four, Makes Texas Southern University History

Texas Southern University takes the first game in 2018 NCAA Tournament, making history for the 90-year-old Historically Black University.

Texas Southern University beats NC Central, 64-46

Demontrae Jefferson from Milwaukee put on a show in Texas Southern’s First Four win over NC Central. The Sophomore and SWAC MVP recorded a game-high 25 points to go along with 8 rebounds. He has put up 1,000 points in his young career shooting 8-18 to lead TSU to history for the school first win in an NCAA Tournament after eight attempts.

Their next stop comes against an East Region top seed Xavier in Nashville on Friday night.

The Tigers got off to a slow start in the First Four bracket against the North Carolina Central Eagles making only two of their first nine shots. There star Jefferson hit a jumper and the Tigers seems to have gotten their footing and hit 8-13 baskets. Jefferson had 17 points at halftime and TSU was ahead 36-26.

The Eagles made a push early in the second half to no avail. The Tigers thwarted all attempts after an 11-2 run, NC Eagle, Pablo Rivas’ ended the drought but Tiger Donte Clark quickly answered.

Clark ended the night with 18 points for the Tigers on seven free throws and just 4-14 from the field. Trayvon Reed helped the Tigers to victory by blocking six shots and scoring 10 points off the bench.

Coach Mike Davis coached the Tigers to historic victory after an early season of playing top national teams throughout the country. The Tigers are now 16-19 as they head to Nashville for Friday’s game against Xavier.

 

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Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Statement on the Ouster of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Jackson Lee: “Secretary Tillerson never had the full confidence of the president he serves, and the president never quite had full confidence in Secretary Tillerson.”

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of both the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security, released the following statement in response to the president’s firing of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and the announcement of his intention to nominate Michael Pompeo, the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as his next Secretary of State, and of Gina Haspel, to fill Mr. Pompeo’s position, should both be confirmed by the United States Senate.

“The revolving door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue continues to turn.  This time the person ousted is Rex Tillerson, our country’s 69th Secretary of State.  Since its beginning, this administration has been plagued by a failure of management as well as a suspicious appeasement towards Russia.  In his last hours as this country’s top diplomat, these two trends appear to have converged yet again.

More than anything the timing of Mr. Tillerson’s firing is deeply troubling.  On Monday afternoon Theresa May, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, our nation’s closest ally, took to the House of Commons to attribute to the Russian Federation, the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.  Secretary Tillerson echoed Prime Minister May and also blamed the Russians.  Hours later, President Trump fired Secretary Tillerson from his post.  The president’s decision to fire Secretary Tillerson after he stood in solidarity with the leader of our closest ally is confounding.   The United States must stand tall with Great Britain as it explores whether, in response to this attack, to invoke NATO’s Article 5 assurance of collective defense.

Secretary Tillerson’s firing also comes after the administration announced, with much fanfare, that it was convening a summit between the President of the United States and the leader of North Korea, scheduled for May 2018.  Mr. Trump’s firing of Secretary Tillerson leaves open the very real prospect that for this critical bilateral summit, the United States will be without the counsel of its top diplomat.

“Also, it is not clear that Secretary Tillerson ever had the full confidence of the president he serves, and the president never quite had full confidence in Secretary of State Tillerson.  Whether it was Secretary Tillerson’s considered judgment that the United States should remain part of the Paris Climate Accord, abide by the Iran Nuclear deal, or minimize the bellicose rhetoric directed towards North Korea, Secretary Tillerson’s reasonable views always seemed out of place in this White House, and were frequently disparaged in a Trump tweet.

“For an administration that promised to hire the best people, we have seen very little evidence of this in action.  Instead, we have seen cabinet secretaries feeding at the trough; a White House staff rife with unprofessionalism; and personnel decisions designed to cover-up the president’s associations with and connections to Russia.  I encourage the United States Senate to conduct a fulsome and searching inquiry into Secretary of State-Designee Pompeo and Central Intelligence Director-Designee Haspel.

Rex Tillerson has had a long career, many years of which he spent as CEO of ExxonMobil, based in Houston.  I thank him for his service to this country and I wish him and his wife, Renda, well in their future endeavors.

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Commissioner Ellis, Mayor Turner Announce $30 Million Project to Repair Streets in TSU-UH Corridor

                                    

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on March 13announced a joint agreement in which Precinct One will pay $30 million to improve seven streets in the University of Houston-Texas Southern University corridor.

“This is a great example of how Harris County can innovatively and strategically partner with the City of Houston, our universities and other entities to improve mobility, safety and quality of life for all residents,” Precinct One Commissioner Ellis said. “Precinct One is looking forward to supporting TSU and UH, and the entire Third Ward community through this project.”

Earlier on March 13, Commissioners Court voted to negotiate with two engineering firms that will develop the scope of the work.

Dubbed “Complete Streets” project, the improvements dovetail with Mayor Turner’s Complete Communities program, which involves improving Third Ward and four other neighborhoods that have been under-resourced for many years.

“Now I’m excited to see that the Commissioner is bringing safer, more attractive streets to this community of twin universities,” Mayor Turner said. “… If the improvements in these areas were just relying on the city, they would be highly incomplete. I want to thank him for this spirit of collaboration and cooperation with the city utilizing resources at his disposal in order to address many of the needs within the city and within Harris County.”

Precinct One is committing $15 million to improve infrastructure near TSU and another $15 million to projects around UH.

The goal is to create streets that are attractive and a source of neighborhood pride, while improving safety and accessibility to all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.

In addition to roadway work, the project also includes drainage improvements, which will help reduce street flooding during heavy rain.

“This is a win-win opportunity for everyone,” Commissioner Ellis said. “Pedestrian and bike-friendly streets bring neighbors together and encourage healthy activity. I also hope that these improvements will help attract new businesses and jobs for communities in Third Ward.”

Councilman Dwight Boykins, whose District D includes Third Ward, also praised the city-county partnership.

“Given Houston’s revenue cap, it’s crucial that we lean on different partners to find innovative ways to access desperately needed dollars to support our infrastructure,” Boykins said. “As history has shown us, a collaboration between the county and the city in these matters often falls short of what we need to get this job done. That’s why I’m appreciative of the efforts of Commissioner Rodney Ellis and my friend, Mayor Sylvester Turner, who have brought $30 million into my district.”

The streets in the TSU area are Cleburne (Emancipation to Scott); Blodgett (Scott to Ennis); and Attucks (Cleburne to Wheeler).

The streets near UH are Cullen (Interstate 45 to North MacGregor); Wheeler (Cullen to Scott); Elgin (Scott to I-45); and Holman (Scott to Cullen).

“This project will significantly enhance the gateways into these great institutions by creating a beautiful streetscape for students and residents,” Commissioner Ellis said. “The improvements also will help hundreds of Houston residents who attend classes and work at the universities.”