In previous posts I have written about how the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), which opened back in 1889, has continued to collect property taxes in Harris County even after all its students moved away from HCDE and into "Independent School Districts." All other counties in Texas except Harris and Dallas closed their county school boards decades ago. A reader asked me to find out how long she had been paying taxes to two school districts - paying for two school boards, two highly paid administrations and two district infrastructures. So I did some research.
I have only had time to research 20 of the 24 Harris County Independent School Districts. So far, it seems that the taxpayers in Waller ISD have been double taxed the longest - an even 100 years!!!!! According to the Waller ISD district site,
La Porte ISD was not far behind. According to Wikipedia,1911 - The Waller Independent School District was formed by election (54 votes for, 7 votes against).
La Porte Independent School District was formed in 1916That leaves the taxpayers of La Porte ISD coming in second paying two school district taxes for 95 years!
|June 23, 1931|
Map of Harris County School Districts
Made for Harris County School Board
NOTICE:"This map is the property of the County School Trustees of Harris County,
State of Texas, and is not to be copied for any purpose, and is for the exclusive official
use of members of the board, and is not to be permitted out of their possession."
June 23, 1931
Sounds like the HCDE board members in 1931 were just like ones today - paranoid that that taxpayers would find out how few schools they operated and would complain about paying for two school districts.
A quick look at the 20 ISD's tells us just how long taxpayers in each district have been double taxed:
# of Years ISD
ISD Formed School District + HCDE Taxed Source_____
1911 Waller ISD 100 years Waller ISD site
1916 La Porte ISD 95 Wikipedia
1917 Alief ISD 94 Alief ISD site
1918 Katy ISD 93 Wikipedia on KISD
1923 Houston ISD 88 HCDE site
1923 Humble ISD 88 Wikipedia on HISD
1930 Deer Park ISD 81 DPISD site
Pre-1931 Galena Park ISD 80 Map from 1931
Pre-1931 Aldine ISD 80 MAP from 1931
Pre-1931 Crosby ISD 80 Map from 1931
Pre-1931 Goose Creek ISD 80 Map from 1931
Pre-1931 Pasadena ISD 80 Map from 1931
Pre-1931 Spring ISD 80 Map from 1931
1935 Channelview ISD 76
1937 Pearland ISD 74 Wikipedia on PISD
1938 Klein ISD 73 KISD site
1939 Cy-Fair ISD (CSD) 72 CFISD site
1945 Spring Branch ISD 66 SBISD by phone
1948 Clear Creek ISD 63 CCISD by phone
1977 Stafford MSD broke from Houston ISD and Fort Bend ISD to form the
only "municipal school district" currently in Texas.
While researching, I found another fact that was interesting . In 1923 it took a Special Act of the Texas Legislature, for Harris County District 50 to become the Humble Independent School District. "This gave the (independent) school board more authority, and removed many of the rules imposed by the Harris County School Board." I guess even back then the HCDE Board wouldn't listen to the people and the people had to go over their heads to the state legislature to make the changes needed.
It is remarkable to me that in the past 63 years, the people of Harris County have not been able to elect 7 decent, honest people to the HCDE Board at the same time. 7 board members who would move HCDE's programs where they belong -- to non-profits and Texas Educational Service Centers -- and put an end to this century long double tax burden on the people of Harris County.