HOUSTON (FOX 25) - In a run off with dozens of prominent issues, just how deeply the next mayor plans to plunge into local pockets for property taxes may prove the most pivotal.
Bill King has long criticized Sylvester Turner's plan to pay for more police with a limited tax hike.
Now Turner is firing back.
"Come on, the math just doesn't add up," said Turner.
He's alleging King's plan to borrow billions for a pension bailout and street repairs will land on the backs of local taxpayers.
"The only way to give people what he claims he's giving to them and pay for it, is you have to increase people's property taxes. That's what he will do, contrary to all of his commercials," said Turner.
But King says Turner is wrong and claims there's a colossal amount of unnecessary City spending that could and should be cut, with the proceeds redirected to fund his pension, drainage and street repair plans.
"How about $75 million a year on overtime? How about $30 million a year on a crime lab? How about the $75 million we spent on new employees, adding them this year? Trust me, there is plenty of money there to do a bond program, get our streets fixed and do all the other thing we need to do at the city," said King.
Rice political analyst Mark Jones says it's conceivable King could keep a lid on property taxes, especially if he's willing to wield a heavy budget ax.
"If voters want a continuation of the status quo with some minor tweaks and changes, Turner is their candidate. If however, they want a significant shake-up and a move in a new direction there option then would be King," said Jones.
There was troubling financial news for whomever the voters choose. Sales tax revenue is 7 percent from this time last year which could indicate the City's budget deficit will be worse than forecast.