News Categories: News Release

17 Sep
By: Communications 0

Commissioner Cagle Comments on Proposed Tax Rate Increase

Dear Friends:

I want to make you aware of an important issue arising from our Harris County Commissioners Court meeting last week.

Moments after rejecting my proposal for a property tax cut, which was seconded by Commissioner Steve Radack, a majority of Commissioners Court voted instead to raise your property tax rate to the maximum amount allowed by law without going to the public for approval for the increase. Commissioner Radack and I voted against this tax increase; County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia voted in favor. If given final approval next month, your new tax rate would be 65.26 cents per $100 assessed valuation of your home.

There will be three hearings to allow you and your neighbors to weigh in on this important decision before the final vote.

The dates and times are:

• September 20, 2019 – 1:00 PM
• September 24, 2019 – 10:00 AM
• October 8, 2019 – 10:00 AM (This is the date of the final tax rate adoption.)

All hearings will be before Harris County Commissioners Court on the ninth floor of the Harris County Administration Building at 1001 Preston in downtown Houston.
I encourage you to make your voice heard on this decision. You can do that by attending one of these hearings or by writing or calling my office and/or Judge Hidalgo, who also represents you on Commissioners Court. My telephone number is 832-927-4444 and you may email me at commissionercagle@hcp4.net. Judge Hidalgo’s telephone number is 713-274-7000, and her email address is Judge.hidalgo@cjo.hctx.net. If you would prefer to mail her, her address is Suite 911, 1001 Preston, Houston TX 77002.

Sincerely,

R. Jack Cagle

Harris County Tax Increase Fact Sheet

• Tax bills are determined by multiplying tax rates by a home’s taxable value. The Harris County Appraisal District, which is unrelated to Harris County government, determines taxable values. Individual governing bodies set tax rates.

• The “overall” Harris County property tax rate comprises four different rates — the Harris County Hospital District, the Harris County Flood Control District, the Port of Houston Authority and Harris County itself.

• Harris County last raised the overall property tax rate in 1996, when Commissioners Court approved an increase of 2.4 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

• Most recently, Harris County lowered the overall property tax rate by 1 cent in 2007, dropping it to the current 62.998 cents.

• If given final approval, the new tax rate would be 65.260 cents, an increase of 2.262 cents.

• If approved, the new tax rate would provide the four taxing entities with an extra $222 million in property tax receipts next year alone.

Please note that the examples below do NOT reflect potential increases in appraised values.

The average appraised value of a home in Harris County’s Precinct 4 is $366,542. With the standard 20% homestead exemption, the proposed tax rate increase would cost this homeowner at least $66.33 per year more (from $1,847.31 to $1,913.64 the first year) on top of any increase in appraised value.

For a home with an appraised value of $100,000 with the standard 20% homestead exemption, the proposed tax rate increase would cost at least $18.10 per year more (from $503.98 to $522.08 the first year) on top of any increase in appraised value.

For a home with an appraised value of $200,000 with the standard 20% homestead exemption, the proposed tax rate increase would cost at least $36.19 per year more (from $1,007.97 to $1,044.16 the first year) on top of any increase in appraised value.

For a home with an appraised value of $300,000 with the standard 20% homestead exemption, the proposed tax rate increase would cost at least $54.29 per year more (from $1,511.95 to $1,566.24 the first year) on top of any increase in appraised value.

For a home with an appraised value of $400,000 with the standard 20% homestead exemption, the proposed tax rate increase would cost at least $72.38 per year more (from $2,015.94 to $2,088.32 the first year) on top of any increase in appraised value.

Appearance Request Procedure and Form

 

 

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04 Sep
By: HCP4 Admin 0

A Message From Commissioner R. Jack Cagle

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Precinct 4Update, the premier online and print magazine for residents of Harris County Precinct 4!

As your commissioner, it is my pleasure to tell you about all the county facilities, programs, and services available to you. I believe that one of the most efficient and enjoyable ways to share all that Precinct 4 has to offer is through the lively writing, engaging photography, and vibrant layout featured semi-annually in the new Precinct 4Update.

This innovative magazine replaces and consolidates Update and Precinct 4 Times, the former general-interest and senior adult publications, respectively. Subscribers to one or both of those magazines will now receive Precinct 4Update, which highlights the many events, facilities, and programs available to you as a Precinct 4 resident, as well as an occasional take on current events in county government.

Houston swarms with pesky mosquitos, so it’s appropriate to feature an article on the native “mosquito assassins”, which are predatory insects bred and studied by my office’s Biological Control Initiative. These surprising insects may look like your typical pest mosquito, but they are actually a natural pest killer—feasting on mosquito larvae. A partnership between Precinct 4 and the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science provides an avenue for further studies of this natural ally in our annual battle with skeeters.

Also in this issue, read more about Biological Control Initiative’s joint venture with the Harris County Flood Control District and numerous volunteer organizations to create a dragonfly habitat featuring native wetland vegetation that filters and cleans stormwater runoff.

And to give you a glimpse into a few of the programs offered in Precinct 4, I assigned Crystal Simmons, our media relations and communications specialist, to pen a first-person account of some of the programs offered on any given day, from fitness classes and outdoor activities to art and woodworking.

A quick note about that name, Precinct 4Update: that’s not a typo. The “4U” together in the title is a reminder that this publication is “for you,” the residents of Precinct 4, and that my staff and I work for you each day. I hope you enjoy this new magazine as much as my staff and I enjoyed putting it together 4U.

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01 Jul
By: Communications 0

State of Qatar Donates $3.3 Million to Build Eight Soccer Fields in Harris County

The State of Qatar, through its $30 million Qatar Harvey Fund, today announced a gift of $3.3 million for the construction of eight soccer fields in Harris Country, five in Precinct 1 and three in Precinct 4. The soccer fields will also be designed as water collection basins to mitigate future flooding.

The announcement was made today at BBVA Stadium by H.E. Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. He was joined by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, and Licia Green Ellis, representing Precinct 1 and her husband, Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

The five soccer fields in Precinct 1 will be built in Blue Ridge Park, located in far southwest Harris County between the Sam Houston Tollway and FM 2234.

The three soccer fields in Precinct 4 will be constructed in Alabonson Park along Bingle Road between Alabonson Road and White Oak Bayou in northwest Houston.

Planned amenities at Alabonson Park, a 50-acre multi-use facility, also include softball and football fields, parking lots, maintenance facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds, as well as paved multi-use trails and natural surface trails that could one day connect to additional trail systems along White Oak Bayou. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2019.

Ambassador Al-Thani, who chairs the Qatar Harvey Fund, said during the announcement: “Qatar has relationships in Houston and southeast Texas that go back decades and the Qatar Harvey Fund is a gesture of solidarity, designed to support long-term recovery and resilience. These fields serve that purpose by using land vulnerable to flooding to bring recreation access closer to these communities.”

The Qatar Harvey Fund has already announced approximately $16 million in Harvey recovery projects in southeast Texas, including a $2.5 million donation announced last October to help restore Harris County’s Riverside Hospital in Houston’s Third Ward.

Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said: “I’m extremely grateful that Qatar has been here for our city after we faced one of the greatest challenges in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. On behalf of Precinct One, I sincerely thank Ambassador Al-Thani and the Qatar Harvey Fund for their generous gift that will provide soccer fields at Blue Ridge Park for our families to enjoy. Also, the flood mitigation component of this project will help protect thousands of people who live in the Sims Bayou watershed from future flooding.”

“Thank you, Ambassador Al-Thani, for this generous donation,” said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. “This important step in our recovery from Hurricane Harvey provides recreational opportunities and flood relief for the area.”

Ambassador Al-Thani visited Houston and Harris County in October 2018 to announce the first round of grants to support education, housing and community development projects, including a $622,000 gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Texas via the Rebuild Texas Fund. During his current visit, the Ambassador will announce the remaining approximately $14 million in donations from the Qatar Harvey Fund. These announcements will fulfill Qatar’s pledge of $30 million in funding long-term recovery projects in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

About the Qatar Harvey Fund and the State of Qatar
Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, the State of Qatar announced a gift of $30 million for the long-term recovery of the storm’s victims in Texas. The Qatar Harvey Fund was created to administer the gift. For more information, visit www.QatarHarveyFund.com.

Qatar is an independent state in the southern Arabian Gulf. It has a population of approximately 2.7 million people, the majority of whom live in and around Doha, the capital. Diplomatic relations with the United States were established in 1972; in the same year, Qatar’s first diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. opened. The relationship between the two countries has always been friendly, highly productive and reciprocal. Qatar is home to many Americans, and the United States is both Qatar’s largest foreign investor and its largest source of imports. Qatar-U.S. relations are growing continuously in multiple areas: economic, political, military, educational and cultural. Qatar is a close ally of the United States and a strong advocate of building a peaceful, prosperous and stable Middle East. Qatar has provided significant humanitarian and development assistance to countries around the world, including the United States.

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21 Jun
By: Communications 0

Summer Events at Levy Park

Precinct 4 programs are now in even more locations! Guests will explore local fishing, nature, herb gardening, and urban wildlife. Check out these four action-packed events throughout June, July, and August at the City of Houston’s Levy Park.

  • Backyard Bass. Wednesday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. Practice casting a fishing rod while on land and learn about common freshwater fish species in Harris County. Ashley DeLeon Torres, outdoor education coordinator at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, leads this fun-filled activity.
  • Walk in Nature. Tuesday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Walk on the wild side with Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks. Explore animal skins, skulls, and tracks with Kristina Linberk, director of the Trails As Parks program.
  • Herbs: Your Own Scratch ‘n Sniff Garden. Wednesday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Explore the colors, textures, and fragrances of an assortment of herbs during this hands-on presentation from Jennifer Garrison, education director at Mercer Botanic Gardens, and Jamie Hartwell, Mercer’s volunteer coordinator. Learn about the cultural requirements, culinary inspiration, historical aspects, and folklore of different herbs.
  • Tall Tails: Urban Wildlife Myth Busters Tuesday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. Anni Ranck, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s outreach coordinator, dispels common myths concerning local urban wildlife. Participants will discover how myths begin, solutions to common wildlife problems, and that truth really is stranger than fiction.
  • Nature Night. Saturday, Aug. 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate the end of the Summer Nature Series with an evening filled with outdoor fun! Enjoy a showing of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom on the big screen, along with a variety of outdoor activities. Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with this documentary following a family of monkeys navigating the complex social hierarchies of the jungle.

Parking is available along the park or on Wakeforest Avenue and Eastside Street. Additional public parking is available in the parking garage located at 2925 Richmond for a fee.

Levy Park is a vibrant six-acre City of Houston park located in the heart of the Upper Kirby District that leverages innovative environmental practices and hosts a multitude of family-friendly and community inclusive programming. The maintenance, operation, and programming of the Park is managed by the Levy Park Conservancy, an affiliate of the Upper Kirby District Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization.

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21 Jun
By: Communications 0

Countywide Voting Planned for November General Election

Harris County voters may notice changes during the next general election.

Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request by the county clerk for state approval to launch the Countywide Polling Place Program for the November election and subsequent elections. Approval of the program would mean voters could cast their ballots at any county polling location on Election Day. In the past, voters could vote at countywide polling places only during early voting.

A trial run of the program kicked off in March when Texas Secretary of State David Whitley approved Harris County as one of six Texas counties with a population of more than 100,000 to participate in the Countywide Polling Place Program for the May 4, 2019, election. Whitley will now decide whether to approve Harris County to continue the program for all subsequent elections.

With more than 2 million registered voters, Harris County is the largest county in the country to implement the program.

“The voters of Harris County have made it clear that a Countywide Polling Place Program would have a positive impact on elections, and I am confident that the transition to a Countywide Polling Place Program will be successful,” said Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman.

Lubbock County was the first Texas county to participate in the program during the November 2006 general election. That number has now grown to 52 counties designated as “successful” under the countywide polling place program.

For more information, visit www.HarrisVotes.com.

 

 

 

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