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Houston’s Revenue Cap and Cameron Esposito: Friday’s show (July 17, 2015)

When Bill White was mayor, Houstonians approved a cap on the amount of revenue the city of Houston can amass each year. While the cap — tied to the combined rates of inflation and population growth — is designed to encourage fiscal responsibility, it’s placed the city in a bit of a bind, forcing property tax […]

When Bill White was mayor, Houstonians approved a cap on the amount of revenue the city of Houston can amass each year. While the cap — tied to the combined rates of inflation and population growth — is designed to encourage fiscal responsibility, it’s placed the city in a bit of a bind, forcing property tax cuts last year to the tune of $53 million. And next year, the cap meets rising pensions and debt payments, which leave the city with a projected deficit of $126 million. Mayor Annise Parker wants City Council — and then Houston voters — to consider lifting or altering the cap. But she’ll be out office in six months. So if that doesn’t happen now, it will be up to the next mayor and city council to address the deficit and perhaps revisit the cap. The major mayoral candidates are split over what to do.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Houston Chronicle city hall reporter Katherine Driessen about the revenue cap, how it works, and what altering or lifting it might do. We’ll also share the views of the seven major mayoral candidates.

Also this hour: It’s no secret Houston is a hub for human trafficking. So much so that, about a year ago, the city of Houston established the Mayor’s Human Trafficking Task Force to combat the issue. Last month, Mayor Parker went a step further and appointed the city’s first human trafficking advisor, Minal Patel Davis. News 88.7 FM’s Florian Martin sits down with Patel Davis to discuss her plans for the position.

Then: A lot can happen in a week — some of it good, some of it bad, some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn each Friday to our rotating panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of it all. On this week’s panel: Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg, Texas Originals producer Paul Pendergraft, and University of St. Thomas College Republicans Chairman Vlad Davidiuk.

Plus: Comedian Cameron Esposito performs at Houston’s Boondocks in Montrose this Sunday. She tells Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty about the many jobs she’s taken on the road to success in stand-up.

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