Mayor White settles property tax dispute

HOUSTON "So, Mr. Mayor, I urge you to please quit wasting time and not leave this mess to others to clean up after you," said Tax Assessor/Collector Leo Vasquez earlier this week.

Vasquez urged Mayor White to sign the contract allowing the county to collect Houston property taxes. The city had wanted the county to stop renewing vehicle registrations for drivers who did not pay their red-light tickets.

The former Harris County tax collector says it should not have been an issue in the first place.

"You want things to work in an orderly fashion and there's no better option than the county for collecting taxes. It's the lowest cost for the post for the City of Houston, it's the best for all the taxpayers of Harris County," said Paul Bettencourt, former Harris Co. Tax Assessor/Collector.

For years, the City of Houston has paid Harris County $750,000 a year to collect some $900 million in property taxes.

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