Houston home owners, still struggling to get their flood-ravaged houses repaired in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, are facing a new threat to their financial well-being that has nothing to do with mother nature. House Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced a proposal to slap a nine percent increase in property tax that would raise extra money, he says, for Harvey clean-up. According to the local ABC News affiliate, Houston residents are somewhat skeptical and very irate at the reach into their wallets, already emptied by Harvey costs.

How would the property tax hike work?

According to Turner, the city of Houston would slap a nine percent increase in property taxes, from 58.6 cents per $100 valuation to 63.8 cents. The typical Houston homeowner with a $225,000 home would see an increase of $117. The tax increase will bring in an extra $110 million, city officials say. The increase would last only for the 12 months of 2018 before, presumably, going back down to the original rate. The process for enacting a tax increase will involve three public hearings before final approval.

What are the objections?

The reaction from Houstonians has been overwhelmingly negative. Mayor Turner has made a massive political blunder by proposing a tax increase when many people have not died out their homes yet from the flooding and are piling up ruined possessions by the curb to be taken away by the trash collectors.

Many Houstonians lacked flood insurance, on the theory that their neighborhoods had never flooded before. Even with low-interest FEMA loans, Houston home owners are looking at bills that number in the many thousands of dollars. Future increases in homeowner and auto insurance premiums also face Houstonians in the wake of Harvey.

Mayor Turner is also facing a trust issue. Texas homeowners have had to deal with hefty increases in property taxes due to hikes in home valuations. A plan to reform that practice died during the special session of the Texas legislature. The mayor’s promise that the rate increase will be “temporary” is widely disbelieved in Houston.

Rolling back a tax increase, no matter if it is called short term or not, is considered easier said than done.

Many Houstonians suggest that the state of Texas dip into its $10 billion rainy day fund to cover the cost of Harvey clean-up. So far neither Governor Abbott nor Austin lawmakers seem willing to do so, even though Harvey was the ultimate in rainy days. The upshot is that Houstonians have one more thing to worry about in the form of an overreaching local government as they try to recover from Harvey.