HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has requested that Texas Governor Greg Abbott tap into the state's Rainy Day Fund to help with Harvey relief for the city. On Monday, Turner wrote to Abbott asking state officials to tap into the $10 billion Rainy Day Fund, the state's savings account. The Mayor added that he would not have proposed a $50 million tax hike if the state would kick in its share now.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday rejected recommendations from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials that they could avoid raising local property taxes to pay for damage from Hurricane Harvey once the state tapped its reserve funds. Abbott added, "The mayor seems to be using Harvey recovery as hostage to raise taxes."
Houston officials said they still maintain that Abbott should consider the request. Turner said Monday the city has already used its own $20 million reserve fund, and is now facing a $26 million bill for debris cleanup.
Abbott said that the state had previously approved for $100 million for debris removal in Houston and has implemented an accelerated reimbursement program for recovery efforts. Abbott then stated that Turner "has all the money that he needs," the governor said. "He just needs to tap into it."
Reporter Stephen Morgan shares the discourse between Mayor Turner and Governor Abbott in this edition of The Debrief with anchor Kaitlin Monte.