Houston city council to vote on property tax hike for post-Harvey recovery

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 12:25:39|Editor: Yang Yi
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HOUSTON, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The city council of Houston in the U.S. state of Texas decided on Wednesday to vote on a temporary property tax hike next month in order to raise funds for recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

Before the vote which is scheduled for Oct. 18, there will be three public hearings with the first one to be held on Sept. 25.

Mayor of Houston Sylveste Turner said on Monday that he would seek the city council's approval of an 8.9-percent hike in the city's property tax rate to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Turner's proposal would increase the current property tax rate from 58.64 cents per 100 U.S. dollars of appraised value to 63.87 cents.

Currently, the average home in Houston valued at 225,000 dollars has to pay 1,321 dollars of tax a year. Under the proposed increase, the sum would increase by about 118 dollars for one year.

The mayor's office said this would be a one-time rate hike that expires after 12 months and cannot be renewed. It would raise about 110 million dollars to be used to repair damaged city property and facilities.

The mayor said cleaning up the debris will cost over 200 million dollars and the city will have to pay 10 percent of that without being reimbursed by the federal government.

Harvey blew ashore on Aug. 25 as the most powerful hurricane that hit Texas in more than 50 years, displacing more than 1 million people and damaging some 200,000 houses in a path of destruction that stretches for more than 480 km. The Houston area was hit by severe flooding, after receiving about 1.4 meters of rain.