Houston's mayor promises to fix pot holes, add more animal control officers and take steps to reduce pensions in her 2015 budget. But what about 2016?
Mayor Annise Parker warns Houston is growing so fast, and the cap on total property tax revenues approved by voters under Bill White, combined with rising debt and pension costs will cut the city short of meeting its needs.
She says it may be time to revisit Prop 1.
“We'll either go to the voters and say please give us the ability to put money into public safety and raise the cap for that purpose, or please allow us to raise the cap, or maybe its time to do away with this artificial limitation,” Parker told reporters Thursday.
If voters reject the idea, Parker says she'll be forced to make drastic cuts in the 2016 budget or find new revenue streams.
“I suspect it would be an easier conversation with the voters to say we really need the ability to take in more tax revenue to pay for more ambulances and police officers, than to go and have a conversation with voters and say could you just remove the cap altogether,” she added.