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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.”

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EMILY’s List Statement on Democratic Primary Results in Texas’ 29th Congressional District

Sylvia Garcia, 67 wins Democratic Primary for the 29th Congressional District


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, congratulated Sylvia Garcia on tonight’s primary election results in Texas’ 29th Congressional District. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, released the following statement:

“Sylvia Garcia has dedicated her career to leveling the playing field for hardworking families, and her victory tonight is a sign that Texas voters are ready to elect strong women leaders who will fight for middle-class economic opportunity and hold the Trump administration accountable.”

“The EMILY’s List community was proud to support Sylvia Garcia during the primary and will continue to stand with her as she moves another step closer to making history as one of the first Latinas elected to Congress from Texas.”

During the primary, EMILY’s List’s voter mobilization and education project, WOMEN VOTE!, launched a bilingual digital program in support of Sylvia Garcia.

EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making them one of the most successful political organizations ever. Our grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns – and win. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research the issues that impact women and families, and turn out women voters. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office. Forty percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Since the 2016 election, thousands of women and counting have reached out to us about running for office. To harness this energy, EMILY’s List has launched Run to Win, an unprecedented effort to get more women to run at the local, state, and national levels.

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Mayor Turner’s statement on the death of Houston City Council Member Larry Green

Breaking New: Houston City Council Member Larry Green found dead Tuesday morning in his home

Houston District K Councilmember Larry Green is dead. He was elected to the newly created District K

in 2011 and served until his death on March 6, 2018.

Larry Green 52, District K Houston City Councilman was found dead in his home Tuesday morning. Green’s death has caused sadness throughout the city for he was known for high visibility and as a working representative for his constituents. According to the Houston Police Department, foul play is not expected in the death of the southwest Councilman.

 

HOUSTON – Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner:

“I am shocked and grieving over the untimely death of Houston Council Member Larry Green. But one person’s feelings are secondary to the fact that all of Houston has lost a groundbreaking advocate for equality, economic opportunity and neighborhood safety.

“Larry Green was the first and only District K council member following the south/southwest district’s creation for the 2011 municipal elections. He was the right person to give definition to this new alliance of neighborhoods and businesses: A hard worker. Not a grandstander. He shared in the economic advances and public safety strides of the district without taking the credit for himself. ‘We’ have fought together ‘to build up the economy of District K,’ he wrote on his campaign website.

“Council Member Green was fond of pointing out that his council district had more undeveloped land than any other and was therefore ‘filled with opportunities.’  Well so was he, and part of this tragedy is that he is no longer with us to follow through in his uniquely industrious way.

“He advocated persistently for all business people to have a fair shot at doing business with city government, such as for construction and supply vending. That focus of his, he said, was ‘so that every business owner has an opportunity to do business with the city – regardless of their age, race, sex, sexual orientation or distinguishing factor.’

“Council Member Green captured the essence of being an enlightened public servant for Houston. My heart goes out to his family, his colleagues and all city residents.”

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TSU recognizes Black History Month with celebration

Texas Southern is kicking off Black History Month with the Black History is Our History campaign. This initiative will recognize those who have contributed to the University’s rich 90-year history and the local, national and global community. Historical images and anecdotes will be highlighted around campus and the University’s publications, website, and social media platforms throughout February.

This campaign will continue TSU’s 90-year anniversary celebratBlack History is Our Historyion. TSU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and stakeholders are encouraged to submit any story ideas, photos, or memorabilia to support this effort. A calendar of events will be posted to keep the TSU community informed about all Black History Month events that will be held on campus.

Follow TSU on Facebook at @texassouthernuniversity, Twitter at @texassouthern, and Instagram at @texassouthern. For story ideas and calendar submissions, e-mail the TSU Office of Communications at media@tsu.edu.

 

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Koch Foundation funds new TSU Center for Justice Research

TSU Provost Kendall Harris, Ph.D.; Oliver Bell, TSU Board of Regents; Dr. Howard Henderson, TSU President Austin A. Lane, Gerard Robinson, Dr. Harry Williams, Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg, Dr. John Hardin, Charles Koch Foundation.

(l-r) TSU Provost Kendall Harris, Ph.D.; Oliver Bell, TSU Board of Regents; Dr. Howard Henderson, TSU President Austin A. Lane, Gerard Robinson, Center for Advancing Opportunity; Dr. Harry Williams,Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Houston District Attorney Kim Ogg, Dr. John Hardin, Charles Koch Foundation.

 

HOUSTON (January 22, 2018) – Texas Southern University (TSU) announced the establishment of the Center for Justice Research (CJR), a new initiative designed to produce innovative solutions to criminal justice reform and address challenges in America’s criminal justice system. TSU was awarded $2.7 million by the Center for Advancing Opportunity, an initiative supported by funding from the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The primary focus for the Texas Southern University Center for Justice Research (CJR) will be to produce innovative solutions to reform efforts by utilizing an experienced group of researchers working to understand and address the current challenges of the U.S. criminal justice system.

“The Center for Justice Research represents a new direction for Texas Southern and will strengthen our commitment to equal justice for all citizens,” said TSU President Austin A. Lane. “TSU is elated to receive strong support for the Center from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Charles Koch Foundation, forming a critical partnership to advance knowledge through our faculty and evidence-based research, and in turn, care for our fragile communities.”

CJR’s mission is to change the paradigm of how historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) address criminal justice reform by developing objective, evidence-based research. The goal is to develop and disseminate interdisciplinary criminal justice research to dismantle barriers faced by American citizens in fragile communities. The Center will be an incubator for policy-driven criminal justice research support, increase the research capacity of HBCU faculty in the field, and train and mentor graduate students interested in addressing issues surrounding mass incarceration.

Howard Henderson, Ph.D., professor of Administration of Justice in TSU’s Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, will serve as the Center’s director.

John Hardin, Ph.D., director of university relations at the Charles Koch Foundation, said that more Americans are incarcerated than have a college degree. Hardin said that the Foundation is concerned that the criminal justice system has more impact on the community than the educational system and also has a greater ability to destroy lives.

“Research is required to ensure that the criminal justice system in this country is one that treats all people equally and with dignity so that citizens can live a fulfilling life,” Dr. Hardin said. “We are proud to be a part of a partnership supporting such critical, academic pursuits.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-18th District) said, “Our criminal justice system is deeply flawed and perversely inhumane support for reform spans the ideological spectrum, and this grant to TSU’s Center for Justice Research will help to enhance efforts to ensure that all of us receive equal treatment under the law.”

Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committee on Judiciary and Homeland Security and a strong advocate for justice reform, spoke via speakerphone in support of the initiative. She said that African Americans and other people of color are heavily incarcerated due to a disparate system, but that research and science are the tools to resolve criminal justice problems.

“TSU is an appropriate place for this commitment because it is the people’s university. It costs more than $32,000 to incarcerate people and more women are being incarcerated, so there is a crucial need for this grant,” Jackson-Lee said.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “Incarceration is the end of opportunity for many people, but this grant is setting the stage for a new era in criminal justice. We need a common-sense approach to avoid recidivism and address problems with mental illness and addiction in the community.”