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The real story behind Proposition 1

Camp Bullis and its neighbors DSCF0783

If you’re voting today, Josh Baugh explains what Proposition 1 is really about:

In spring 2008, local lobbyist David Earl began touting a plan that he said would simultaneously curtail encroachment on Camp Bullis and relieve gridlock on the far North Side.

Estimated to cost as much as $190 million, the project called for the purchase of buffer zones along the southern edge of Camp Bullis and construction of a major thoroughfare, known as the “East-West Parkway,” connecting Interstate 10 to U.S. 281. But by that fall, the plan seemed to have died because of Earl’s proposal to finance it: the creation of a tax increment reinvestment zone, or TIRZ, which uses increased property tax revenue in the area to fund the construction of infrastructure.

It turned out that the plan’s biggest obstacle was the Texas Constitution, which says TIRZs are for blighted areas. City and county officials said at the time that the proposal didn’t pass constitutional muster because property near Bullis is anything but blighted.

A constitution amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot would tear down that obstacle — and it’s largely Earl’s handiwork.

Related: How developers skirt city codes

Read the fully story here.

(Photo credit: Army Environmental Update)