News from Harris County and the city of Jersey Village
HASTON LAWFIRM, P.C. DIVORCE& FAMILY LAW
Sales taxcollections growinCy-Fair
Cause of optimism Official sales tax revenue collections for March provided some optimism, but April collections will provide a clearer idea of how the coronavirus could affect budgets.
BY SHAWN ARRAJJ
March 2019 March 2020
JERSEY VILLAGE Sales tax collections were up year over year in March for the city of Jersey Village and for Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9—which collects tax revenue on behalf of the Cy-Fair Fire Department—according to data released May 6 by the Texas comp- troller’s office despite many busi- nesses closing temporarily in March following stay-at-home orders imple- mented to slow the coronavirus. Jersey Village saw sales tax revenue increase 11.4% fromMarch 2019. Over the first five months of the fiscal year, sales tax revenue was up by 34.3% with more than $2.6 million brought in, as compared to just under $2 million at this time in 2019. At an April 20 Jersey Village City Council meeting, City Manager Austin Bleess said the city was using a $700,000 loss in sales tax revenue as a potential worst-case scenario for fiscal year 2019-20.
Harris County ESD No. 9 $522,961.02 $582,579.50
$3.18 million $3.41million
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SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
In a May 6 interview, Bleess said the March collections made him “cautiously optimistic” that reve- nue shortfalls will not be as bad as originally projected. Meanwhile, ESD No. 9 brought in about $3.4 million in sales tax revenue in March 2020, up 7.14% fromMarch 2019. Most entities in the Houston area saw decreases in March revenue from the previous year, including the city of Houston and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.
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Harris County plans relief fund for residents
BY SHAWN ARRAJJ
“We may have a long, hard winter ahead of us, and we need to be very, very careful what we do with regard to our property tax funds where we may or may not be able to help everybody we want to,” Cagle said. “If we have to raise our taxes, which I am not in favor of, we will hurt those right now who are hurting the most.”
HARRIS COUNTY A coronavirus relief fund is in the works for Harris County residents who officials said are falling through the cracks of federal relief efforts. In a 3-2 vote, commissioners approved an initial injection of $15 million into the fund at an April 28 meeting, which will be used to help poor families, residents living in the country illegally and other targeted populations pay for rent, utilities and other needs, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said. The official establishment of the fund in Harris County is pending a legal review by the county attorney’s office regarding using property tax dollars for such a fund. This $15 million injection was opposed by Precinct 3 Commis- sioner Steve Radack and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who said he would be OK with the program if it was funded through donations or federal dollars.
SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • qualify for one of several federal assistance programs, including: • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program • Medicaid • National School Lunch Program • be currently living in a domestic violence situation • be a foster child who has aged out To take advantage of a new coronavirus relief fund, residents must reside in the county and meet one of the following: • live in a household making below 70% of the federal Area Median Income
CY-FAIR EDITION • MAY 2020
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