Today a judge ordered to overturn Houston's Drainage Fee or what is commonly known as Rebuild Houston.
The tax was supposed to pay for improvements to drainage and streets. Homeowners paid an extra fee every month to cover that cost, but because of deceptive ballot language, tax payers were not aware of the exact cost of what each homeowner and business owner had to pay. This caused several Houstonians to step up after the 2010 election to file suit because of the ballot language. Earlier this year in May, the Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the ruling needed to go back to a lower court to determine if the city should continue collecting the drainage tax, and Mayor Parker had plenty of time to place an item on the agenda to stop the collection of taxes, but she refused.
In order for Rebuild Houston to continue, a new election will have to be held if the city wants to re-impose the drainage fee.
This is another example of the Mayor not allowing the Houston City Council to perform their ministerial duties to Houstonians. On several occasions, I have gone before the city to demand stronger accountability to the voters on issues like this, and sadly Mayor Parker has ignored our requests.
Friday, October 30th is the final day for early voting until the general election on November 3rd. I urge you to educate yourself on those candidates for Houston Mayor and Houston City Council that have campaigned on continuing Rebuild Houston.
As stated before, I have seen how we have "Robbed the Lockbox" time and time again to pay for parts of our budget that are unsustainable. The drainage fee has collected over $500 million and half of that has gone to paying city salaries. Other money has gone to paying for bike paths and not repairing the streets and drainage that desperately need attention.
I took the time earlier this year to determine how many actual projects were completed by researching the Rebuild Houston website, and I was shocked at what I found:
Projects Actually Completed
The next Houston Mayor and City Council will not only have to deal with fixing an unsustainable budget and pensions, but now they will have to figure out how to refund Houstonians the $500 million that was collected illegally because of Rebuild Houston. We will need leaders that will be fiscally responsible and spent money on the core basics that a city is responsible for. As your next Houston City Council At Large #4 Member:
- I will lobby and demand that we start a review of our current budget to find wasteful spending and inefficiencies.
- I will find the most efficient way to refund Houstonians their taxes that were unlawfully collected.
- I will work with the Mayor to find a sustainable way to pay for our streets and drainage.
- I will also work with the mayor and other council members to lobby the state to gain local control of our city pensions to negotiate effectively with our police, fire, and municipal workers.
- I will provide a stronger sense of Accountability and Responsibility to our voters
- I will work to strengthen our Community for our future generations.
I need your support and vote today and on Tuesday, November 3rd. Without your support we cannot win, but with your support we cannot lose!