The Pearland City Council approved of a contract with Strategic Government Resources, or SGR, for the purpose of auditing the city’s tax calculation process after it discovered a worksheet error that brought the city a multimillion-dollar deficit.

The Feb. 13 meeting agenda states the contract is estimated to cost $36,750. SGR submitted a two-phase proposal: gathering information through interviews and document reviews, and then a presentation of final recommendations to the city. The agenda states the proposal has an estimated project timeline of 24 days.

The deficit caused by the Harris Central Appraisal District property tax evaluation error lead to a series of budget restructuring moves and the firing of the city manager. At a State of the City event Feb. 9, Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole said the city is about to start a search for a new city manager.

The City Council has sought an audit of its tax calculation process since Nov. 21, where it passed an agenda item to select a third party to “review and prepare a written forensic audit with respect to the role of the parties and processes involved with the City’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget process.”

"We wanted to get this done sooner," Cole said. "The hard part was finding independence and finding a group that really hadn't worked for the city, hadn't worked for Harris County, hadn't worked for Brazoria County or any of the other entities, and that really was the hang-up for getting there."