March 17, 2013
Twenty years ago, the Sunday front page of the Houston Chronicle reported that in Harris County "a dozen posh country clubs are receiving a special tax break that allows the exclusive clubs to avoid paying almost $1.6 million in property taxes each year."
Chief among them was the River Oaks Country Club, whose well-tended golf course is the playground of Houston's elite. Nestled next to downtown, that property was taxed at a fraction of its market value.
Nothing has changed in the subsequent two decades, except the lost tax income - at a time when the Houston Independent School District is considering a tax hike - now exceeds $4.5 million annually.