Council gave its official blessing Jan. 19 to increasing taxes to pay for a part time but permanent equipment operator which will improve the District’s ability to clear snow at a quicker pace than is now the case from the downtown and other areas.
Council in December approved of the hiring with the provision that taxes be increased as a result.
The $56,600 added to the District of Houston’s 2021 base budget means property tax revenue will rise to 4.03 per cent over 2020 levels instead of the previously planned 2.7 per cent.
District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck did note that a surplus in the District’s base operating account could mean absorbing the additional cost without needing to increase taxes beyond the 2.7 per cent level.
“However, as a consequence of such a decision, capital projects would need to be scaled back or financed through further draw downs on reserves and surpluses,” he added in recommending agains such a move.
In the months when there isn’t snow, the part time employee will focus on other of the District’s core services.