Friendswood joins League City in supporting creation of Gulf Coast Protection District
With little discussion April 5, Friendswood City Council voted in favor of a resolution to show support for House Bill 3029, the passage of which would result in the creation of a taxing entity to help fund the operation of the proposed coastal barrier. (Community Impact staff)
Council Member John Scott was the only one to not vote in favor of the resolution.
For years, Texas General Land Office and Army Corps of Engineers officials have been working on the Coastal Texas Study to determine how to protect the coast from hurricanes. Their ultimate proposal is a $32 billion plan that includes several improvements of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, the most expensive of which is a series of gates between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula.
To help fund the massive project, which would take decades to implement, Rep. Dennis Paul, R-Houston, introduced HB 3029 to create the Gulf Coast Protection District. The district would cover Harris, Galveston, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties and would have the authority to tax its residents to fund the maintenance of the barrier and related projects, said Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood.
Brazoria County was originally intended to be part of the district, but that is no longer the case, Taylor said.
The bill has not been finalized, but it would likely include a property tax cap of $0.05 per $100 valuation. That cap could be lowered, but it is probably that the district will need to tax residents at least $0.025 per $100 valuation to afford the maintenance the project will require.
“That’s a very small price to pay for the huge amount of protection we’d be getting,” Taylor said.
In late March, League City City Council voted in favor of a resolution to show support of the creation of the district, but that resolution did not specifically indicate support for HB 3029.