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September 29, 2017      5:36 PM

TTARA outlines tax latitude in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Craymer says “Hurricane Harvey will be the ultimate test of whether current state laws concerning fiscal response to disaster are sufficient to give local communities the tools they need to recover”

The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association has issued a new white paper that defines some of the tax rules in a post-Harvey world, including use of the Rainy Day Fund and reappraisals.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Mayor Sylvester Turner have been at odds this week over whether to call a special session to address the costs of Hurricane Harvey. At a joint press conference this afternoon, Abbott announced the state had found $50 million in the current budget to cover short-term recovery costs. That nixes the need for a city tax increase, for now, said Turner.

In TTARA’s white paper, “Hurricane Harvey – The Fiscal Toolbox,” Dale Craymer outlines the decision points, post-disaster: state response, property taxes, school finance and state taxes. Craymer noted the estimated $190 billion in damage is equivalent to 12 percent of the state’s estimated economic output. The challenges are enormous, Craymer said.

By Kimberly Reeves

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