Places of Worship, Schools Should Be Exempted
Recognizing that the ultimate funding sources for the Proposed Drainage Fee are residents and businesses in the City of Houston, City Council Members C.O. “Brad” Bradford and Al Hoang will offer an amendment to exempt schools and religious organizations from a drainage charge under the proposed Chapter 47 of the Code of Ordinances, Houston, Texas, Article XIV, Municipal Drainage Utility System.
Council Member Bradford said, “It is clear that charging entities which are themselves funded by the same businesses and residents does nothing more that create an unnecessary ‘pass-through’ mechanism, adding additional administrative costs to the process.” Council Member Hoang added, “Exempting entities of this kind, such as schools and places of worship, does not increase the burden on businesses and residents who are not exempt; it reduces costs to the process by preventing the pass-through effect and eliminating unnecessary billings and duplicative invoices. It actually reduces costs to the process.”
Council Members Bradford and Hoang have heard from numerous constituents who stated that the added burden of a drainage fee assessed to places of worship and to schools in their communities would be nothing more that “piling on” in tough economic times. The residents of Houston would be best served by full disclosure and real transparency regarding who is actually paying the fee.