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Houston – Brace For Tax Hikes

Written by Michael Thervil  

VEDA Magazine | Mayor John Whitemire photo by Michael Thervil
VEDA Magazine | Mayor John Whitemire photo by Michael Thervil

The words “nothing lasts forever” should come to the minds of all residents that reside in Houston Texas. City issues such as hyper inflated water bills that are considered to be the outcome of 125,000 plus broken water meters and other associated public water infrastructure, antiquated infrastructure, socio-economic disparities, and busted roads and streets has taken its toll on both the citizens of Houston and the businesses and government of Houston. It seems that Houston Mayor John Whitmire has his hands full, in fact, it seems as if the cup has runneth over in a sense. The question is: “What is John Whitmire going to do about the woes that are adversely affecting all Houstonians?”   


Getting straight to the point – significantly raise taxes; but this means that all businesses in the city would have to raise wages. Remember the only free in life is Jesus, and when it comes to fixing the city of Houston socio-economic issues somebody is going to have to pay. And it's the people of Houston who are going to have to pay. Currently, Mayor John Whitmire is proposing a $15 tax hike on property taxes. To be honest in 2024, the property tax needs to be nothing less than $20-$25 (or more) when it comes to property tax. On top of that, Mayor John Whitmire is rethinking downtown parking meter fees, which are due to inflation.  


The above taxation moves initiated by Mayor John Whitmire sound great, and his tax increasing measures should help to improve the City of Houston's future economic outlook; wo what extent, it's currently unknown. But the one thing that has Houston residents scratching their heads is the $1.5 billion settlement that is going to the city's fire-fighters in back pay. The reason for this is because the city's firefighters were complaining that they haven’t had a contract in effect for the last 8 years or so. But again, this $1.5 billion settlement isn't cheap, and it most definitely isn't free. And who's going to pay for it – you got it, Houston taxpayers. Adding insult to injury, Houston fire-fighters are set to receive a 10% raise this year with an annual raise of 6% every year after that. And who's going to pay for it - the citizens of Houston.   


Then there is the city issue of not having enough police officers. On the one hand, the Houston police department is saying that they have a shortage, on the other hand, the Harris County sheriff's department is saying that they too are suffering through a shortage of deputies in their jails. But there are several solutions that can be employed to help alleviate staffing issues between the two law enforcement agencies – but neither agency nor Mayor John Whitmire is willing to implement them.    


Then there is the issue of transportation, beyond the streets and roads that need to be fixed and maintained, the thing that the City of Houston needs to really consider is significantly expanding the speed, efficiency, times, and miles covered by their public transportation. Maybe there should be not only a slight increase in price when it comes to public transportation, but maybe Mayor John Whitmire should consider expanding the total transportation services Houston METRO provides. In doing so this can create more jobs that yield a respectable income, which will trickle down into other areas such as reducing traffic jams, and attracting more riders thus increasing city profits.

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