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.
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.
Many have lost jobs and many more have seen pay and hours cut during the pandemic. Industries that have been able to transition to work-from-home have been some of the least impacted.
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.
Interviews for the 2020 Kinder Houston Area Survey were conducted just before the world was upended. The results of the survey reflect the existing disparities in health care and economics that the COVID-19 outbreak has underscored and exacerbated.
For years, Houston has been touted as one of the nation’s most affordable major metropolitan areas. But it’s now facing a decreasing supply of affordable housing. To effectively address the affordability crisis in Houston, local decision-makers and individuals must consider the combined costs of housing and transportation and their impact on overall affordability.
To better understand the affordability crisis in Houston, LINK Houston and Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research teamed up to explore where affordable housing and high-quality, affordable transportation overlap in the city.
A dashboard created by the Kinder Institute’s Houston Community Data Connections shows job-loss estimates in each Harris County community. Many of the areas impacted most by the economic downturn are home to low-income renters, the working poor and single-parent households.
Through workshops, community feedback and an interactive data walk, a Houston Community Data Connections team empowered Third Ward community members and other stakeholders to use data from a multi-phase comprehensive needs assessment to pursue priorities in the neighborhood.
The majority of Houston-area families report COVID-19 is negatively impacting well-being, employment, education and more, according to this community impact survey.
Near Northside residents’ perception of safety and the quality of streets and sidewalks are assessed in a pair of new reports from the Kinder Institute. The findings show subpar infrastructure and fears of crime and cars are endangering many in the neighborhood.
The Kinder Institute for Urban Research is launching a new survey to better understand housing and neighborhood challenges faced by those living with disabilities in Houston.
Extensions of light rail service in areas with easy access to Houston’s major job centers have brought residential and commercial development to those areas. Researchers at the Kinder Institute wanted to find out if and how transit investments impact patterns of gentrification in the city.
Small businesses are only as successful as the policy, investment and regulatory environment they operate in. For small enterprises especially, flexibility and nimbleness are critical to growth. To thrive, clear pathways must exist for firms, regardless of size, to effectively scale, expand operations and further contributions to the economy, through new jobs, tax revenue streams and technological innovation.
By most measures, Texas might be the least likely source for new methods of refugee resettlement to arise today.