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Paul Bettencourt advocates doing nothing to rebuild after Harvey

He has nothing constructive to offer, that’s for sure.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt

One of the top Republicans leaders in the Texas Legislature is slamming the city of Houston and other local governments for trying to raise taxes on homeowners in the name of hurricane recovery.

And he’s certain the increase will provoke a response of some sort from the Legislature.

“I don’t understand this mindset,” state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston, said. “It’s callous.”

He said homes have been flooded and damaged, and local governments’ first reaction appears to be raise taxes on those same people even though local officials have emergency funds and federal aid is on the way.

“It’s beyond tone deaf,” said Bettencourt, who is the chairman of the Senate’s Republican caucus. “I don’t believe governments should be showing this type of attitude when people are down.”

But Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office said they are left with few other choices. The city already dipped into its emergency funds and while they are getting federal help, they city is still left with 10 percent of the debris removal costs, said Alan Bernstein, communications director for Turner.

“So how’s it going to get done?” Bernstein asked if the city doesn’t get additional revenue to pay for it all.

Happy thoughts and pixie dust, I guess. You will note that Bettencourt does not even mention the possibility of using the Rainy Day Fund to help cover these costs. At this point, I have no idea what someone like Bettencourt thinks that fund is for. It’s clearly not for its intended purpose of economic stabilization during a downtown, and now it’s equally clear that he doesn’t think it’s for the Rick Perry-stated purpose of covering disaster costs. Nor does he offer any other suggestion as to what local governments could do, probably because saying things like “not pay their employees or contractors for the work they will need to do, and not invest in any form of flood mitigation” is probably something even he realizes would be unwise. That leaves doing nothing, and maybe finding a convenient scapegoat for one’s own inaction. The word for that is “craven” – I would accept “cowardly”, too – and it’s a perfect fit for Paul Bettencourt.

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9 Comments

  1. neither here nor there says:

    It rained and rained and rained and it flooded. I guess “Rainy” does not include rain damage.

    The crazy party has forgotten how to govern as it supported by too many even crazier people who vote them in.

    Have to give them credit they do well when nothing requires doing. If one expects things to get done must elect Democrats to the top.

  2. Bob Jones says:

    The real problem is property taxes to being with. What we see now is that a tax revenues will take a hit as homes will be appraised at a lesser value as everyone protests their tax bill. We need something that is not based on a subjective number like what the government thinks your house is worth, but rather something mathematical and broad – not sure what that is, but property tax isn’t gonna cut it.

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    Isn’t the Mayor saying we might not need it? Maybe you should call the mayor’s office and tell them you want to pay more taxes. LOL

  4. neither here nor there says:

    PK, question in money does not solve or help why do they keep voting to increase the defense budget even when they don’t want so much?

  5. neither,

    Why do you ask such a question. What does the defense budget have to do with picking up trash in the City of Houston?

  6. neither here nor there says:

    It is about money, not sure where you stand is but if money does not solve problems, why do we keep throwing more more of it at the defense department?

    Trash and Defense are not the same but the method of solving the problem is the same, money. I personally believe in a strong defense and offense capability, but I also like trash picked up, first responders to respond when called, streets to be maintained, and sewage not leaking out in the streets or yards etc.

  7. It’s obvious paul doesn’t understand basic public finance.

    He must really need that $12.27 to buy a happy meal.

    So many lawyers, so few ideas

  8. It’s obvious paul doesn’t understand basic public finance.

    He must really need that $12.27 to buy a happy meal.

    So many lawyers, so few ideas

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