A property tax bill of $100,000 in the city of Houston has the city’s top tax collector saying he has no choice but to increase the citywide rate to protect the state’s revenue.
The $10.4 million tax hike was approved Tuesday by the Houston City Council, which also approved $3 million for the city to buy new equipment for its parks department.
The city’s budget will be reviewed by the state and the legislature.
The new rate is the biggest hike in Houston’s tax history.
It’s the first time the city has paid back taxes on unclaimed, untaxged property since 2011.
The property tax levy is currently at 2.9 percent.
City Manager Ed Emmons told the council that his department is working with state officials to adjust the city rate to reflect what is needed to support public services, including public schools, fire protection, the health department and parks.
The city is also considering the possibility of paying off debt by selling the bonds it issued.
That could bring the total debt for the $10 billion citywide bond issue to $20 billion.
In a report issued Tuesday, the city noted that the city currently owes about $20 million in unpaid property taxes.
It also noted that it has the largest unclaimed tax burden in the country.
The tax hike comes as the state Legislature continues to work on a sweeping plan to raise taxes and fees on some businesses.
That plan would likely increase property taxes in the coming years.© 2018 The Associated Press.
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