Today, Rep. John Culberson (TX-07) addressed a special meeting of the Houston METRO Board of Directors regarding the elimination of the General Mobility payments to the 14 independent cities in the Houston area. The General Mobility program (GMP), set-up in 1988, provides dedicated funding for transportation projects from sales tax collections. Since its inception, the General Mobility program has provided $2.7 billion in funding for local transportation projects.
Rep. Culberson addresses a special meeting of the METRO Board in support of preserving general mobility payments on behalf of the nine independent cities in Congressional District 7, Rep. Culberson attended the meeting and spoke about the importance of keeping local tax dollars in the cities to use for local transportation projects.
"I urge the Board to preserve the 25 percent of the penny for general mobility and transportation needs," Culberson stated. "I'm here today to express my strong support for the independent cities.
"We need to remember it isn't METRO's money or even the government's money, it is the taxpayer's money. I urge the Board not to do anything that will drive up property taxes.
"The Board should follow DART's (Dallas Area rapid Transit) example and shed rail lines that METRO cannot afford," Culberson continued. "METRO should not buy more house than the taxpayers can afford."
In a letter sent to the METRO Board of Directors by Reps. Culberson, Pete Olson, and Michael McCaul, on behalf of the independent cities they represent, stated:
"Our constituents who live in the 14 cities bear the burden of the dedicated sales tax. These hardworking taxpayers should not lose the benefit of their tax dollars being spent to improve the roads in their neighborhoods.
"None of METRO's existing or proposed rail projects is within the boundaries of any of the 14 cities, yet METRO is considering taking tax dollars away from the cities and using the money to fund rail projects. On behalf of the taxpayers in our districts, we strongly urge you to reject this plan, and keep the current General Mobility Program which will ensure that local taxpayer dollars will be used to fund local transportation projects."
The 14 cities receiving GMP funding are: Bellaire, Bunker Hill Village, El Lago, Hedwig Village, Hilshire Village, Humble, Hunters Creek Village, Katy, Missouri City, Piney Point Village, Spring Valley Village, Southside Place, Taylor Lake Village and West U. The City of Houston and Harris County also receive GMP funding.