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Judge: Houston Has To Hold New Election On Drainage Fee

Plaintiffs’ attorney says the city may have to reimburse Houston property owners up to $1 billion.

A district judge ruled Thursday that the 2010 vote on the city of Houston’s drainage fee is void because of misleading ballot language.

That means the city will have to hold a new election for the fund, which is part of Rebuild Houston. The program fixes roads and drainage problems.

“The consequences of today’s decision are that the city has to reimburse Houston taxpayers almost three-quarters to an actual billion dollars,” said attorney Andy Taylor, who represents the Houston property owners who sued the city.

On the 2010 ballot, there was no mention that implementation of the program would mean a monthly fee.

Two courts sided with the city, but the Texas Supreme Court sent it back to the trial court.

The city can appeal the ruling.

A spokesperson for Mayor Annise Parker said they are considering next steps.

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Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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