Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is using Hurricane Harvey to increase property taxes by 8.9 percent.

Turner’s Harvey Tax was unveiled on Monday and is expected to be on the city council agenda for October 18, when councilmembers will also vote on three hearing dates for the public to voice their concerns.

The current rate is 58.6 cents but the new temporary rate of 63.87 cents per $100 of valuation is needed, according to Turner, to provide immediate funds for hurricane relief. Once the next fiscal year begins, the city will, once again, be limited by the cap.

Because of restrictions placed on the city by the voter-imposed property tax cap, Turner can only bypass the cap this year because of the disaster. Taxpayers can almost be certain that the mayor will come back asking voters for a permanent repeal on Houston’s tax restrictions, as he has said that was his intention from the onset of his tenure.

If approved by council, the city could expect to collect over $110 million.

As they stand, the public hearings will take place on September 26 at 6 p.m., October 3 at 6 p.m., and October 11 at 9 a.m.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.