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Houston’s Budget, Arts and Culture, Street Names, and Life Histories: Houston Matters for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mayor Annise Parker last week unveiled her proposed FY 2015 budget for the city of Houston. It includes covering a significant rise in pension obligations, calls for funding to add animal control officers and address pothole repairs – all of which the mayor believes can be accomplished in the next year without a tax increase, […]

Mayor Annise Parker last week unveiled her proposed FY 2015 budget for the city of Houston. It includes covering a significant rise in pension obligations, calls for funding to add animal control officers and address pothole repairs – all of which the mayor believes can be accomplished in the next year without a tax increase, or dipping into the city’s Rainy Day Fund.

But the Mayor did offer a warning about the FY 2016 budget – she says the city is projected to exceed a revenue cap on the city’s general fund, which will force a rollback of city tax rates to reduce revenue coming in. It could result in a budget shortfall.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the FY 2015 budget with Houston Public Media’s Laurie Johnson, and then learn more about the revenue cap from former Mayor Bill White, who was in office when the charter amendment that created the cap was passed. He explains its purpose, and how it might impact budgeting in FY 2016.

Also this hour: Houston Matters’ Edel Howlin learns about an “Arts and Cultural Heritage Community Indicator Report” from The Center for Houston’s Future, which examines cultural organizations, arts funding, and jobs in Houston’s arts and culture world.

Plus: We drive on them and past them all the time, but do we know the stories behind Houston’s streets? From Kirby to Westheimer, Bellaire to Bissonet to Buffalo Speedway, we learn the origins of popular Houston street names from Marks Hinton, author of Historic Houston Streets: The Stories Behind the Names.

And: A conversation with Houston filmmaker Stefani Twyford. Through her company, Legacy Multimedia, she produces tribute videos, and family and personal biographies, as a way to help chronicle history, share life stories, and preserve legacies. She recently shared some of her own family’s legacy through a documentary about her father, photographer Martin Elkhort. That film was shown at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston last weekend.

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