WINTER WEATHER: Hard freeze warning issued for 9 p.m. Wednesday

County Judge Emmett says dealing with taxes and flood control are key issues in ‘State of the County’ address

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - County Judge Ed Emmett feels efforts to lower property taxes have led to greater problems for the county with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey front and center.

"We are reaching the point where tax policies are a drag on economic development," Emmett said. "We can't just keep dangling this idea that an eighth of a cent tax cut is gonna solve all the problems of the world 'cause it's not."

After such a devastating storm, local business leaders wanted to send a message.

"Immediately after the storm, the Partnership proactively put forth the message that Houston was back in business. We celebrated the work of the business community, our elected leadership and our citizens and our neighbors to help the region recover,"Greater Houston Partnership President Bob Harvey said.

Officials also want to send a message that frequent flooding will be dealt with.

"With an emphasis on the fact that we do intend to take action to mitigate our flood issues, which are real but not unique to Houston," Harvey said.

Judge Emmett suggests that flood control is his number one priority.

"Let's not build in areas where people are likely to flood," he suggested. "And make sure we minimize this going forward. We live on the Gulf Coast, there are gonna be floods."

Another area of concern has been distribution of relief funds to local victims. Officials say over $250 Million in charity relief has been raised by different funds.

"And the Partnership and the Houston Endowment have been working with all of those funds to help ensure that we coordinate our efforts, that we don't duplicate our efforts or leave key needs unmet," Harvey said.

As for rebuilding, officials estimate they need at least $54 Billion separate from the cost of repairs and other expenses.

So, sounds like there's a lot more work to do to get Harris County fully back on its feet again!