Houston mayor, Texas governor clash over Harvey costs

AP News
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Posted: Sep 26, 2017 6:07 PM
Houston mayor, Texas governor clash over Harvey costs

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says Houston's mayor is holding the state "hostage" by proposing a 3.6 percent local tax increase unless Texas offers some of its rainy day fund to pay bills after Hurricane Harvey.

Abbott said Tuesday that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has "all the money he needs" for now as the fourth-largest U.S. city continues cleaning up after Harvey.

Turner is calling for a one-time property tax hike to pay for Harvey expenses. But the Democrat says that wouldn't be necessary if Abbott cracked open nearly $10 billion sitting in the state's emergency fund.

Abbott, a Republican, says now isn't the time for "financial panic."

It's not the first time they've clashed. Abbott urged Houston residents to evacuate before Harvey but Turner said it would be more dangerous.