HOUSTON - Houstonians won't face a property tax increase after all.
Governor Greg Abbott announced Friday the State of Texas will provide millions of dollars Harvey relief aid from the $100 million disaster relief fund appropriated during the last legislative session.
In a joint news conference with Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, Abbott presented him with a $50 million check to help cover short-term recovery costs.
The money will go toward immediate relief needs, such as reconstruction and debris removal. Abbott said long-term recovery and preventive measures would be funded by the federal government and the state's savings account, known as the Rainy Day Fund, but not until exact costs for recovery are known.
Earlier this week, Abbott shot down Turner's request to use the $10 billion Rainy Day Fund for Harvey relief. Without state funding, Turner said he had no choice but to raise property taxes for a year.
Turner said Friday with the $50 million, there is no need for a city property tax increase.
During the Friday news conference, Abbott said there "is a possibility for a special session" to allocate funds for recovery and prevention once those costs are better known.
"Now that the hurricane winds are calm ... it's time that we begin the process of rebuilding Texas, and that's a tall task," Abbott said. "This is what the state of Texas is for ... We're proud to be here wearing the same jersey working for the same team."
FEMA will reimburse Houston for 90-percent of the costs associated with Harvey.
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