Harris County to put $848M bond referendum on ballot this November
After reporting about several infrastructure ballot initiatives around the country, today it appears my hometown county of Harris has decided to move forward with a $700 million bond referendum for the upcoming November 3rd ballot. Rapid growth, especially in the northern and western portions of the county, are the primary reasons for the referendum. @DugBegley has more background on this bond proposal:
“Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to put four bonds totalling $848 million on the November ballot, marking the first time a county bond referendum has been before voters since the Astrodome plan was rejected in 2013.
The need for such measures stems from tremendous population growth in unincorporated parts of Harris County, John Blount, the county engineer, wrote in a July 21 letter introducing the four-part proposal to the commissioners. The county’s population has grown 75 percent between 2000 and 2014, according Blount.”
As noted previously by Mr. Begley and others, past experience and other high-profile bond referendum failures elsewhere in the region suggests this referendum isn’t a shoo-in. No doubt, the county will have to work very hard to sell this to voters. Furthermore, the referendum will appear alongside a statewide $2.5 billion transportation proposition, which may make some voters start to question the need to approve all this new spending for transportation. Either way, add this to an already long list of major local transportation and infrastructure funding referendums coming up this November.