Tag Archives: revenue cap

Still waiting on details for paying the firefighters

A lot of the same stuff we’ve heard before here, but a little bit more details. Houston Mayor John Whitmire detailed his last three months as the fourth-largest city’s top boss and outlined some of his ongoing projects in a … Continue reading

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Controller Hollins puts firefighter settlement tab at up to $1.3 billion

That’s once you factor in interest payments over the life of the bonds that will be issued to cover this. Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s proposed settlement with the firefighters union could cost significantly more than previously advertised, City Controller Chris … Continue reading

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We return to the question of “how will we pay for the firefighter agreement” question

Gonna keep asking it until we get a full answer. Mayor John Whitmire’s administration is weighing all options, including hiking the city’s property tax rate and charging residents a garbage collection fee, to help pay for its landmark settlement with … Continue reading

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It’s budget cut proposal time

A familiar ritual. Facing a projected budget shortfall and costly settlement with the firefighters union, Mayor John Whitmire has directed most city departments to identify potential 5% budget cuts for the coming fiscal year. Finance Director Melissa Dubowski said Wednesday … Continue reading

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On hiring more cops

Not as easy to do as you might think. Halfway through his inaugural speech, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the city made it far too hard for people to join the Houston Police Department. As an example, Whitmire pointed out … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What some Mayoral candidates said to some Republicans

I have a few thoughts about this. Houston mayoral candidates took aim at “feel-good” public safety initiatives such as gun buybacks and proposed plans to boost the city budget at a Friday forum organized by United Republicans of Harris County. … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2023 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

All candidates should support repealing the revenue cap

Long overdue to get rid of the stupid thing. The Gulf Coast AFL-CIO released a platform for City Hall on Saturday that calls for eliminating Houston’s property tax revenue cap and avoiding worker layoffs. The union has endorsed state Sen. … Continue reading

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Latest ReBuild lawsuit dismissed

One less thing for the next Mayor to worry about. I hope. A district court judge has ruled in favor of Houston leaders in a 4-year-old lawsuit, countering allegations that Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City Council illegally shortchanged the … Continue reading

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City passes Mayor Turner’s final budget

Get ready, whoever is up next. Houston city staff will see pay raises, money will go toward sidewalk repairs and residents won’t have to maintain their own drainage ditches anymore. All are part of the $6.2 billion budget that passed through Houston … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner’s final budget

This is what he’s handing off. Mayor Sylvester Turner will unveil a $6.2 billion budget proposal this week, the final spending plan of his tenure and one he predicts will have enough savings to cover his successor’s first budget gap. … Continue reading

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How was there still an active lawsuit over the 2004 revenue cap referendum?

I am gobsmacked. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday struck down part of Houston’s revenue cap, creating the possibility that the city may have to comply with an even more stringent cap in the future. Elected officials in Houston long have blamed … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner’s final year

The big local political story, besides whatever violence the Legislature commits to Houston and/or Harris County, will be the 2023 Mayor’s race. The incumbent still has a full year to go, though, and he has his plans for what he … Continue reading

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We could maybe vote on a piece of the stupid revenue cap next year

Yippie. Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday he will ask voters in 2023 to amend the city’s cap on property tax revenue to allow for more public safety spending, as the council cut the city’s tax rate for the eighth time … Continue reading

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January 2022 campaign finance reports: City of Houston

January finance reports are always worth a look, if only as a ritual to start the new year. We’re a year out from election season truly beginning for Houston, but as we now have two brand name contenders for Mayor … Continue reading

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Republican County Commissioners ponder another quorum break

It’s a thing they can do, and have done in recent times. They shouldn’t, not for this, but they can. The three Democrats on Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday proposed cutting the overall property tax rate for the third … Continue reading

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Flooding affects toll roads, too.

This makes sense to me. Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted to create a local government corporation to manage Harris County’s toll road system in a move expected to provide a windfall to county coffers and allow surplus toll collections to … Continue reading

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Wait, you can’t cut that spending!

This is the sort of thing you come up with when you’re out of other ideas. Property tax revenue would be on the line for cities that choose to defund their police departments under a new legislative proposal pitched Tuesday … Continue reading

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The rough fiscal road for school districts

It’s gonna be bad. How bad remains the question. Coronavirus already has wreaked havoc on school districts — closing campuses for the remainder of the school year, shifting learning online, and exposing a wide digital divide between students who have … Continue reading

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Cities and counties are going to need their own bailout

This story is about the rough financial future that the city of Houston faces as we go through the coronavirus shutdown, but it’s not just Houston that is in this position. As Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration continues efforts to slow … Continue reading

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Coronavirus and the state budget

Ain’t gonna be great. How bad, we don’t yet know. Comptroller Glenn Hegar briefed Texas House members on the state’s economy and budget Sunday night, saying that while it was too soon for specific forecasts, both are expected to take … Continue reading

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Next up for Mayor Turner

A preview of his second term agenda. Mayor Sylvester Turner said he would seek to enact “transformational” changes in his second term, previewing an agenda that will require city leaders to confront politically difficult issues and vastly expand the use … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2019, Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

City wins final judgment in revenue cap lawsuit

Wow, is this ever a blast from the past. The city of Houston has prevailed in a lawsuit challenging the amount it can collect in property taxes, ending 14 years of litigation over a set of measures approved by voters … Continue reading

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Another ReBuild Houston lawsuit

Gotta say, this puzzles me. A pair of Houston residents filed a lawsuit against Mayor Sylvester Turner and city council Monday, accusing them of failing to follow the will of voters who approved a charter amendment last year for funding … Continue reading

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Cagle and Radack break quorum

They did it. Two Harris County Commissioners Court members skipped Tuesday’s meeting to prevent the Democratic majority from voting on a property tax rate hike that would increase revenue by 8 percent. Republican commissioners Steve Radack and Jack Cagle were … Continue reading

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Will Radack and Cagle break quorum to stop a tax rate hike?

We’ll find out today. Harris County Commissioners Court has scheduled a vote Tuesday to hike property taxes by 8 percent, though the two Republican members can thwart the plan by simply skipping the vote. A quirk in the Texas Government … Continue reading

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Do you believe in magical thinking?

I did not read this long profile of Tony Buzbee, because life is short and we all have better things to do. I did briefly scan the print version a bit, and in doing so I noticed the following paragraph, … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Other counties also considering property tax rate hikes

I have four things to say about this. A statewide property tax relief plan that takes effect next year is prompting hefty tax increases this fall in many of the biggest cities and counties in Texas, even in places that … Continue reading

Posted in That's our Lege | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quorum question

Who knew? A quirk in Texas law could allow the two Republicans on Harris County Commissioners Court, despite being in the minority, to prevent the three Democrats from enacting a proposed property tax increase. Typically, three court members constitute a quorum, … Continue reading

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On to the next big financial issue for the city

It’s always something. Four years ago, the main source of Houston’s deteriorating financial health — billions of dollars in unfunded pension obligations — loomed over the race for mayor, promising a massive test for the winner. Now, Mayor Sylvester Turner, … Continue reading

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Ed Emmett is not a fan of SB2

So he opines. At its core, SB 2 continues state leaders’ war against local governments. For years local governments have had to make up for the state’s underfunding of public education. But the state’s top elected officials, Gov. Greg Abbott … Continue reading

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The real goal of SB2

Let’s take a look at the quotes from the supporters of SB2, the new law that will impose revenue caps on all Texas cities, to see what they say about it. “They’re going to have to start looking at spending … Continue reading

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Houston’s up-and-down population growth

It was up and now it’s down. San Antonio gained 24,208 residents between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, annual population estimates just released by the federal agency show. That amounts to an average of 66 people per day, … Continue reading

Posted in Elsewhere in Houston | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Appeals court affirms pension bond lawsuit

Hope this is now over. The Texas 1st Court of Appeals has struck down an appeal from a Houston businessman who contested the city’s 2017 pension bond referendum, appearing to end the legal challenge that began almost a year and … Continue reading

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More info on the school finance bill

Here’s what we know. Before final negotiations, the House’s version of HB 3 cost $9.4 billion, and the Senate’s cost a whopping $14.8 billion, according to Texas Education Agency calculations. The final cost is around $11.6 billion, according to lawmakers, … Continue reading

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