Houston Study Encourages Cost, Revenue Sharing

The Houston region is growing so fast, local utility districts and infrastructure simply can't keep up, according to recent study by Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

Researcher shave been examining how local governments are struggling to provide urban-level services to all residents.

“As unincorporated areas have developed into basically cities, county governments are limited in what they can do in terms of their actual powers and in terms of the revenue they can raise,” says Dr. Kyle Shelton, director of strategic partnerships at the KIUB.

One idea is regional revenue sharing.

“Where different jurisdictions allot a small amount of their tax value each year to a regional pool, then that's redistributed to help shore up areas that are facing different struggles and have lower budgets,”says Shelton.

The report also encourages smaller, more subtle changes.

Simply encouraging ongoing collaborations, cost-share agreements between municipal utility districts and the county that could help improve and update infrastructure, thinking about how annexation or incorporation works.”

Houston city skyline

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