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Business Class Demands Tax Breaks

HOUSTON (CN) - The Spring Branch Management District created a special tax assessment district to beautify part of Houston, but unconstitutionally excluded 42 commercial properties from the taxes "for no apparent reason, other than the fact that the respective owners did not want to pay the assessment," two other businesses claim in a federal class action. The named plaintiffs want to be excluded from the taxes too.

Named plaintiffs Valco Instruments Co. and Property Redevelopment IV LP say they were assessed special annual taxes of $5,789 and $3,090. They claim the businesses that were arbitrarily exempted from the tax "shared no similar characteristics or distinction that would justify excluding them from Defendant SBMD's district. ... The excluded properties and their property owners had only one thing in common, that they were represented by the same attorney ... and requested the exclusion from the district".

Represented by John Polk, plaintiffs want tax collection against members of the class enjoined.

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