City Loses Latest Appeal on 2010 Drainage Fee Election

CITY LOSES LATEST APPEAL ON 2010 DRAINAGE FEE ELECTION City of Houston Public Works Project MapThis week the state’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals upheld a 2015 ruling calling for a new election on the ReBuild Houston drainage and road-fixup fee. As in another local case involving charter invalidation and large sums of collected assessment money, the city is mulling over further appeal options, though the case’s last trip to the Texas Supreme Court didn’t go in the city’s favor. The Chronicle‘s Katherine Driessen also writes that the fund’s future is now murky: the decision doesn’t stop the city from collecting the fee for now, since that collection was authorized through another city ordinance — it may, however, remove restrictions on how the money can be used. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Map of past, ongoing, and planned drainage and street projects: ReBuild Houston interactive map

5 Comment

  • “The case does not appear to affect the city’s ability to continue charging a drainage fee…” and “voiding the charter election essentially removes the restrictions placed on how the city uses the drainage money it takes in.”

    I mean, we all saw this coming right?

  • Between this latest loss on a 2010 (six years ago) referendum as well as the contentious Proposition 1 (aka bathroom ordinance) ballot in 2015, you’d think the City would hire better lawyers to draft up their ordinances.
    Spend a few extra bucks now to bulletproof these things and we don’t have to spend untold thousands on lawsuits and appeals. Or, just don’t do it. I’ve dealt with various City agencies and they remind me of the Bad News Bears baseball team.

  • Abolish Management Districts , MUD’s , TIRZ’s, SPE’s,et al; & cut off the fees / funding / money / taxes that these slightly legal entities feed off of. The self serving insiders who operate these special interest vehicles are well versed con artists!!!

  • @HappyGoLucky – surely you’re not that everything spent by special purpose districts is waste. Without MUD’s none of the planned-use developments surrounding Houston would exist. In the City the special purpose districts pay for vital infrastructure improvements the City can no longer afford due to pension costs and the revenue cap.

    How do you propose to pay for infrastructure without special purpose districts?

  • Just collecting the tax on impermeable surface is valuable on its own. It makes landowners think twice about creating (or even keeping) flood-worsening pavement.

    Where the money goes sort of morally determines whether the fee is a form of legally-imposed direct responsibility for flood costs, or just pure financial disincentive that helps the city with flood costs or whatever else. It would be better with the spending restriction, but I’ll gladly take either one.