Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood Edition | June 2022


News from Houston, Humble & Harris & Montgomery counties


City of Houston increases property tax exemptions

Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. June 28 and July 19 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-7000. Houston City Council will meet weekly at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays at 901 Bagby St., 2nd Floor, Houston. 713-837-0311. Humble City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. July 14 and 28 at 114 W. Higgins St., Humble. 281-446-3061. www.cityo† Montgomery County Commissioners Court will meet at 9:30 a.m. June 28 and July 12 at 601 N. Thompson, Ste. 402, Conroe. 936-756-0571. MEETINGS WE COVER absent from the May 26 meeting. HARRIS COUNTY Two Œnalists were named for the Harris County elections administrator position at the June 15 meeting of the Harris County Election Commission. Both candidates were out of state and would be unable to start until Aug. 1, and a Œnalist could be announced at the commission’s next meeting, which had not been held as of press time. By law, Chief Director of Voting Beth Stevens will serve as interim elections administrator once current Elections Administrator Isabel Longoria exits July 1. NUMBER TO KNOW Houston City Council approved a $5.7 billion budget for Œscal year 2022-23 at a June 1 meeting. The general fund budget was approved at $2.7 billion, a $102 million increase from last year. Council Members Mike Knox and Michael Kubosh opposed the budget. $5.7B HIGHLIGHTS HUMBLE City Council approved an ordinance exempting food trucks operating on-site at breweries from the city’s transient business permitting process during its May 26 meeting. According to City Manager Jason Stuebe, the move aims to make Humble breweries, such as Ingenious Brewing Co., more attractive venues for quality food trucks. The council approved the ordinance in a 5-0 vote; Council Member Bruce Davidson was STONE UNTURNED WHEN IT COMES TO FUNDING.” SCOTT ELMER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT


EXEMPTIONS EXPLAINED Houston residents who are age 65 or older or who have certain disabilities will now be eligible for a property tax exemption of $260,000. The following is an example of how the exemption would be applied to a $300,000 home.

CITY OF HOUSTON During a June 8 meeting, Houston City Council approved an ordinance that increases the property tax exemption from $160,000 to $260,000 for city residents who are age 65 or older and certain residents with disabilities. The increase is applied to the appraised value of a resident’s homestead and will go into e ect for the 2022 tax year as well as for future years. For tax purposes, a disabled resident means someone who either “can’t engage in gainful work because of physical or mental disability” or someone who is 55 years or older and blind, and is unable to work because of blind- ness,” according to the Harris County Appraisal District. Homesteads are de‡ned as “generally the house and land used as the homeowner’s principal residence on Jan. 1 of the tax year.” An exemption allows a homeowner to reduce the appraised value of a home when calculating how much money is owed on that home in property taxes.


Home value:



$400 (tax rate) Property taxes due

$40,000 100 $400

$300,000 $260,000 $40,000

SOURCES: CITY OF HOUSTON, HARRIS COUNTY APPRAISAL DISTRICT¡ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Mayor Sylvester Turner said this ordinance will help keep the city a ordable for those who qualify. “As property value rises, the tax exemption will cer- tainly help,” Turner said.

Harris County starts safe schools commission

Montgomery County appoints new court at law Judge Scharlene Valdez, sets court sta



Carter, most needs would come from

HARRIS COUNTY Following the May 24 Uvalde school shooting, Harris County Commissioners Court unani- mously created the Harris County Safe Schools Commission on June 14. Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey said it will consist of ‡ve indi- viduals who should be members of law enforcement, school leaders and the community. Nominations by each member of the court were submitted by June 24, and the team will be established at the June 28 meeting. The commission will address school safety for private schools and public school districts, operating during the 2022-23 school year as well as addi- tional school years, if needed.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY Com- missioners unanimously appointed Scharlene Valdez as the judge for Montgomery County’s new County Court at Law No. 6 at a June 14 Commissioners Court meeting. Her term is e ective Aug. 15. Valdez was uncontested in the March 1 Republican primary and has no opponent in the November general election. She serves as an associate judge of the 418th District Court in Conroe, a post she has held since 2017. Commissioners also discussed budgetary needs for the new county court at law. According to county Budget OŽcer Amanda

sta , as it would include a court administrator, court coordi- nator, court

Scharlene Valdez

reporter, two county clerks and a sta attorney in addition to the judge herself. The total cost of implementation would be $120,491.90 from the ‡s- cal year 2021-22 budget, while the expected impact on the FY 2022-23 budget for salaries and bene‡ts would be $652,000, Carter said. Commissioners approved the budget adjustments unanimously.

Flood control district projects underground stormwater tunnels could cost $30B


of the study at a virtual community engagement meeting June 16. The next phase of the study is set to begin in early 2023 and could last three years, said Scott Elmer, HCFCD assistant director of operations. Phase 3 is backed by $20 million in bond funding and will focus on tightening up engineering details and ‡nding funding sources. “We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to funding,” he said.

Funding ood tunnels The ¤ood control district presented Œndings on its ¤ood tunnel study. • $30 billion estimated to fund the ¤ood tunnel system • 11 of 23 of the county’s watersheds would beneŒt most from the system • 80K-120K instances of ¤ooding could be avoided over 100 years • 3 years to complete next study phase for Œnding funds, engineering

HARRIS COUNTY Findings from a Harris County Flood Control District feasibility study project a $30 billion price tag for a countywide stormwa- ter conveyance tunnel system. Funded by $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Phase 2 of the study identi‡ed eight alignments that mostly follow existing channels. HCFCD oŽcials presented Phase 2




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