This Week: One Year Revenue Cap Suspension Proposed for Harvey Recovery; District C Observes Rosh Hashanah; Resources: Hurricane Harvey Aftermath
One Year Revenue Cap Suspension Proposed for Harvey Recovery
In 2004, Houstonians voted to approve a limit on the amount of revenue the City of Houston can collect from property taxes, referred to as the “revenue cap.” Included in this charter amendment is the contingency that the cap can be temporarily suspended, for a one-year period, in the case of a disaster declaration. Council’s annual vote to set the City of Houston’s tax rate for the following year (2018) is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18th.
While federal, state, and private funding will provide some of the disaster assistance for Houston, our city must still fund many aspects of recovery, including a portion of storm debris pickup, which is one of our most dire and immediate needs. Since state law prohibits the City of Houston from raising sales tax, and since the Texas State Legislature has thus far refused to allocate funds from the state’s $10 billion Rainy Day Fund for Harvey disaster relief, Mayor Turner is asking for a one-year suspension of the revenue cap to provide this critical funding for debris pickup and other relief efforts.
Our current property tax rate is 58.642 cents per $100 of property value (at its lowest point since 1987) and the suspension of the revenue cap will allow this amount to be raised to 63.875 cents for twelve months. State law prohibits this increase from being prolonged past one year without a public vote. If approved by Council, this one year suspension of the revenue cap will cost the average homeowner approximately $10 per month, raising $110 million for hurricane relief funding. Three public hearings will be scheduled to discuss this proposal in advance of the Council vote, and details will be disseminated as they are confirmed.
District C Observes Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah will begin at sundown on Wednesday, September 20th. Rosh Hashanah is New Year’s Day in the Jewish faith and, similar to the secular new year, this is a time for reflection. Jews traditionally gather in synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and refrain from work on this High Holy Day. For this reason, the District C office will be closed on Thursday, September 21st in commemoration of Rosh Hashanah.
Resources: Hurricane Harvey Aftermath
**Please report ALL home flooding to the City’s 311 hotline. These reports are critical because they determine the recovery resources Houston may receive from FEMA.**
SOLID WASTE COLLECTION
The Solid Waste Department is cycling through all neighborhoods to collect storm debris on an ongoing basis and will do so until all material is collected. Please place your storm debris at the curbside as soon as possible, and residents are asked to avoid parking cars on the street to facilitate pickup. Instructions on placing and separating storm debris »
Normal garbage collection schedules have resumed. Recycling and heavy trash pickup has been temporarily suspended until further notice as all related crews and trucks are assisting with disaster debris collections.
The first round of preliminary “through the windshield” inspections for flood-damaged homes is underway via the Department of Neighborhoods. Thus far, the City has completed over 10,000 of these exterior damage assessments, which assist the City of Houston in applying for federal disaster aid.
If you are aware of any seniors or disabled residents in need of assistance with storm cleanup, please sign up for help from the Cleanup Assistance Hotline at 1-844-965-1386.
DONATE & VOLUNTEER
After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help, Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods.
Residents who wish to volunteer are asked to register through VolunteerHouston.org.