Humble City Council members met June 25 to discuss options for a potential bond issue as city officials anticipate a potential $4 million budget shortfall in a future budget cycle, which they said could affect funding for capital improvement projects.

What you need to know

During a special meeting held at the Humble Civic Center, council members heard from bond counsel regarding the city’s financial standing and what a potential bond issue for the city could look like.

The city’s bond counsel includes:According to Rosenberg, the city would be able to incur a $0.01 tax increase on the debt service portion of the city's property tax rate without causing “significant” increase to the property tax burden on residents.

City Manager Jason Stuebe said the amount would translate to a roughly $115 increase to property tax bills on the average home in the city. However, it would allow the city to obtain roughly $30 million in bond funding, which could go toward capital improvement projects for better infrastructure and public safety initiatives.

Why now?

The last bond issue called by the city was used to construct the Humble Civic Center in 1995. Since then, the city has grown and, according to Stuebe, the removal of red light cameras has significantly impacted the amount of revenue available to the city for capital improvement projects. House Bill 1631 in 2019 prohibited local entities from the use of red light cameras.

"[Red light cameras] was a major money maker, and it did fund a significant portion of law enforcement needs,” Stuebe said. “We are going to have a $4 million hole to fill in the future.”

Stuebe said the city is still utilizing leftover funds from red light camera enforcement operations, but the funds will likely no longer be an option in two to three years.

“We need to start thinking about this now before we hit a deadline,” Stuebe said.

What's next?

Stuebe said the city is not looking to call a bond election this year, but is looking within the next year to potentially get citizen input and go before the voters. The next Humble City Council meeting is scheduled for June 27, and the agenda does not include any item regarding a bond issue.