Houston mayor proposes temporary property tax increase to help Harvey relief

HOUSTON — The floodwaters may go down, but now the property taxes may go up. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says Hurricane Harvey will cost the city an estimated $150 billion.

The mayor is proposing a temporary increase of nearly 9% to help pay for Harvey’s damage. Because, let’s face it, the money’s gotta come from somewhere and the federal government may only cover 80 to 90%.

The current tax rate is 0.5864 per $100. The proposed increase would raise it to $63.87.  If the average home is valued at $225,000, the 8.9% boost in the property tax would raise an estimated $113 million for Houston.

“No one wants to spend money. I got that,” Turner said.  “This debris is not gonna be picked up on its own.”

Cleaning up all the crap along the curbs is just one expense the feds won’t reimburse. There’s also more than 330 city vehicles that were trashed, a municipal courthouse totally out of commission, and two water purification plants to repair.

Revenue from the proposed hike would create an emergency fund, but not forever.

“And I think we can all agree, this is an emergency. It’s a one-year deal. One year, only 12 months and then it reverts back to the tax rate where it is today,” Turner said.

The city has to hold three public hearings before city council votes on Oct. 18. If approved, the hike goes into into effect in January.

Seems it only takes one to tear everything up,  but everyone pays to put it all back together.

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