The City of Houston has decided to switch gears on the original plan to include churches and schools in the Rebuild Houston financing plan. Unfortunately, it seems Dan Patrick’s meddling in City affairs (so much for local control) caused it.
Citing the current state budget situation (created by Patrick and the Republicans) which leaves schools high and dry for the next couple of years and beyond, Mayor Parker assured residents that the drainage fee would remain the same for residential customers, while helping the schools with a little extra cash to keep.
Churches on the other hand are one group of entities I feel should pay their fair share. We have enough medium-to-mega-sized churches in Houston that already avoid paying income taxes on the millions of dollars they receive in donations, it would seem that they would be able to afford to give up one of their Sunday collections to pay the fee. I’m just sayin’.
Although I am willing to somewhat agree that schools should be left out, I wonder if excluding future schools will cause a new line of attack from Republicans on the school board who argue being “double-taxed.” I mean, c’mon, there’s a lack of money to run the schools we already have, thanks to the Republicans. If they continue this line of attack, they’ll continue to prove that their whole intent is to simply starve public schools (while ensuring that their fat-cat school-builder buddies still get paid for building more facilities that will get no money on which to be run).
Am I happy about this turn of events? I join Kuff in saying…NO. But when political reality stares you right in the face, decisions have to be made that will upset all sides of the spectrum in order to keep moving forward. Now, if the Mayor sees fit to turn that $500,000 to help elderly and low-income folks into $1,000,000 to start with, then my frown will turn upside down–a little.
Or maybe they can set up an optional collection plate at city hall for the complaining pastors to donate some of their “building fund,” since they say they say they help so many people. Give locally, I always say.
The Republicans and those Council members who continue to be naysayers for political reasons will continue complaining, though. And there is not much more room for the Mayor to give away any more concessions on the matter. How much more greedy will the naysayers get?