HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A fight for money from the state's so-called "Rainy Day Fund" is showing no sign of stopping as Houston's mayor is asking for the governor's permission to use the money for the continued recovery.
Some strong words from Governor Greg Abbott as Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking for the Rainy Day Fund to be tapped. It's an option that Mayor Turner is hoping for as a looming property tax hike may come to the people of Houston if Austin says no to the request.
"He [Mayor Turner] has all the money that he needs including the money that I provided to him, including the money that already exists that taxpayers provided to him. He just needs to tap into it," says an impassioned Governor Greg Abbott regarding Mayor Turner's request for more money for Harvey recovery.
"Let's not run away from it now. You all know, $10 billion Rainy Day Fund. What are we saving it for? People are hurting now," says Mayor Turner.
The mayor is not shy when talking about that Rainy Day Fund that the governor has acknowledged will be tapped but just not right away, saying the next legislative session may be a good time.
"But if there's an emergency where it's raining, it's raining right now," says Mayor Turner
Without the aid, the mayor says he will be asking City Council to approve a property tax hike that would cost an average of around 50 dollars, per owner, for one year to help pay the city's recovery bills.
The governor saying the mayor is sitting on millions of dollars in other programs. The mayor says those dollars have already been spent.
"It raises a concern that the mayor seems to be using this as a hostage to raise taxes when in reality the city is sitting on hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that he is not tapping into," says Governor Abbott.
"I'm going to assume that he didn't mean it quite the way that it came out," says Mayor Turner regarding Governor Abbott's comment, "I did not create Hurricane Harvey. That was not of my choosing."
Mayor Turner saying he's asking for 0.5 percent of the Rainy Day Fund which is about $50 million.