City Council Votes to Increase Taxes - Council Member Wiseman Outraged

City Council Votes to Increase Taxes - Council Member Wiseman Outraged

In a 13 to 2 vote, Houston City Council took action on Wednesday to adopt a tax rate proposed by Council Member Mark Ellis that will result in a tax increase for property owners in 2005.

Efforts by Council Member Addie Wiseman and Council Member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs to oppose a tax increase were met by vehement opposition.

In June of 2005, the Texas Legislature, through Senate Bill 18, mandated that local taxing entities put the truth back in taxation, by requiring language that would accurately reflect Council action to be included in the adoption of increases in taxation. Therefore, the action taken by  Council today must be reflected as an increase in property taxes.

"I am disappointed and outraged, by the action taken today, on three levels: the deliberate attempt to not allow for consideration any motions other than those sustaining a tax increase, the attempt by supporters of said tax increase to portray this in any way as a tax cut, and the lack of understanding by Council Members of the jurisdiction Council has as a taxing entity," Wiseman said.

"Thanks to Senate Bill 18, the City can no longer hide behind appraisal districts and place the blame on rising taxes on appraisal district boards. Our role in the process is to set the tax rate and therefore it is our responsibility to lower the amount of taxation. I'm very disappointed that City Council has chosen to raise taxes, instead of
lowering them."

Council Member Addie Wiseman represents District E, a region comprised of the Clear Lake, Kingwood and South Belt areas and a portion of the North Shore area. Wiseman, a fifth generation Texan, has called the north Houston area home since 1985. A small business owner, Wiseman takes an active interest in her community and gives time to various organizations. The Council Member serves as Chair of the Council Governance Committee and as a member of the Ethics Committee, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, and the Transportation, Infrastructure and Aviation Committee