HOUSTON - Texas lawmakers on Tuesday plan to announce the filing of a bill requiring Harris County voters to approve the county’s Astrodome revitalization plan first.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, along with Senators John Whitmire, Paul Bettencourt and Borris Miles, among others, plan to announce the filing of the Harris County Taxpayer Protection Act in a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
County Commissioners in September 2016 passed a $105 million plan to raise the Astrodome floor to street level, build 1,400 parking spaces underneath it and open up more than eight acres for festivals and major events.
However, Sen. Whitmire says voters already shot down a $217 million bond package to remodel the Astrodome in 2013. He believes the tax dollars needed to pay for the current plan are needed in other places.
"We need that money to take care of our other venues,” said Sen. Whitmire. “NRG stadium, Minute Maid, Dynamo, and Toyota all need those funds for maintenance and bonded indebtedness. And we had a commitment when I started the sports authority in ‘98 that we would never use property taxes on our sports facilities."
(© 2017 KHOU)