The city will soon determine if an election for a drainage bond program should take place in 2023 or in a future year. The Dec. 12 agenda states that the Citizens Drainage Bond Advisory Committee will provide an update to the council, which will then lead to a discussion on the scope and funding amount of the potential bond.
After an executive session at the end of the meeting, the council will reconvene to consider potential litigation and an audit of the FY 2022-23 tax calculation process, according to the agenda.
At the previous Dec. 5 meeting, the council voted 6-1, with Council Member Alex Kamkar dissenting, to hire unspecified legal counsel. Mayor Kevin Cole said the purpose of hiring legal counsel was to acquire a corrected 2022 property tax evaluation worksheet after the city received an incorrect sheet earlier this year from the Brazoria County Tax Office.
The original worksheet sent to the city July 29 had incorrectly listed the city’s total taxable value at about $11 billion, but the real value was about $9.5 billion. This overvaluing brought the city a $10.3 million deficit.
Council members did not specify the target of the potential litigation. In comments provided after the meeting, Kamkar said the city was hiring legal counsel to “possibly take this to court and force the county to do something they may end up being supportive of.”
Additionally, Cole said Dec. 5 that the council awaits a proposal from a firm to conduct an audit of the city’s FY 2022-23 budget process. He said it has been a challenge to find a firm that has no relationship with the city and has never worked with Pearland in the past.
The firm selected for the audit will report directly to the council and the city’s audit committee. The audit is part of the city’s attempt to seek accountability for the worksheet error that caused the city’s deficit.