The state’s property tax reform bill, which limits the amount cities and counties can raise property taxes to 3.5%, is expected to significantly affect one of the largest sources of revenue for local governments. Many will be looking for ways to circumvent the financial constraints of the measure. That’s something Houston has been dealing with since 2004.
This report examines the revenue structure and service levels for Texas' three largest cities: Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.
Houston lost $25 million in sales tax revenue in March alone because of COVID-19. But the city’s fiscal struggles existed before the coronavirus pandemic. A new Kinder Institute report compares the revenue sources and service levels among the three largest cities in Texas — Houston, Dallas and San Antonio — all of which are expected to see COVID-19-related revenue losses of between 10 and 15%. Of the three, Houston is the most constrained in its options for increasing revenue.
As the city faces an economic crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic and the downturn in oil, it needs to recognize the enormous opportunity to make changes that are necessary to become a leading 21st-century city.
The economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak coupled with the pandemic being politicized by some will challenge the feelings of solidarity and trust that have been building in Houston in recent years. It’s important to remember the city and surrounding region’s ability to unite in the face of disaster.
As restaurants in Houston reopen and expand beyond to-go and delivery service, they’re required to provide more space between diners. In a number of cities, steps are being taken to allow businesses like restaurants to temporarily use outdoor space and parking lots to help with adequate physical distancing.
For the past six years, Andrea Roberts has been dispelling misconceptions about the history of African American placemaking in Texas through her Texas Freedom Colonies Project.
Effective efforts at the neighborhood level can be sustained and amplified by plugging into broader citywide efforts in ways that better align long-term goals and influence implementation plans at both levels.
When it comes to health care, most people know they can either put in the work of maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough exercise now or pay a much higher price — physically and fiscally — later in life. The same is true when it comes to the health and well-being of a city and its residents. In the long run, it’s smarter and less expensive for local governments to invest now to ensure they are prepared to handle unexpected disasters and possibly prevent problems altogether in the future.
One day before the release of the city’s Resilient Houston plan on Wednesday, a new network of resilient cities was publicly announced at the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. Houston will be a member of the network.
As Houston strives to improve transit, shrink its carbon footprint and make streets safer for all modes of transportation, it may be struggling to rise above the status quo in some areas.
Texas’ leading political figures have made it clear they don’t have much use for local government. From curbing cities’ ability to generate property tax revenue to a call for banning localities from lobbying in Austin, state officials continue to limit the power of local governments.
This story was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Former Mayor and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros shares strategies for inclusive growth, improving urban and social infrastructure and planning for affordable housing.
On November 5, the City of Houston will hold elections to choose a mayor, controller, and 16 council members to serve four-year terms from January 2020 to January 2024.