Why Mayor Turner is cutting proposed temporary tax increase in half

By Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that he is lowering his request for a temporary tax increase to cover the cost of Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

When the increase was initially proposed, Turner said the extra money would cover expenses not reimbursed by federal programs and help pay not only for debris removal but the loss of 334 city vehicles, repairs to City Hall and a courts building and two sewage treatment plants.

Here's how the change would affect Houstonians:

Why the change?

Turner originally estimated that Houston would need $110 million to remove debris. He is now saying it will cost $50 million after FEMA agreed to pay 90 percent of the bill for debris removal.

What does it mean for Houston homeowners?

As a result, the proposed 9 percent tax increase for Houston homeowners will be cut by nearly 50 percent, bringing the year-long tax hike to about 4 or 5 percent.

What now?

Turner said the city will keep the cost of debris removal as low as possible in an effort to keep tax rates lower.

There are currently 300 trucks being used for cleanup and the city needs 500, Turner said. 

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