I received a friendly "Notification of Drainage Utility Charge" from the city the other day, and it really, Really, REALLY made me mad. You see, back in last November's General Midterm Election, there was a city proposal on the ballot to allow the city to charge a tax to property owners based on how much impervious surface it has on the property in order to "help" with flood control. Never mind the fact that the county already has a taxing Flood Control District and the city is part of the county! Houston wanted more money. Period. End of story. Anyhow, the measure passed, god knows why, so here we are.
According to the notice, my monthly charge was going to be $20.10! I know I mentioned before that I live in an older semi-rural neighborhood, and we do not have water, sewer, or a curb and gutter drainage system (we are on well and septic). Translation, we don't get JACK from the city in terms of services. Actually, our area is not even physically connected to Houston proper but was annexed by the city in a tax money grab about 10 years or so ago by virtue of the fact that it is "connected" by Lake Houston! Oh yeah, we had a ballot measure on that too, but the local residents got outvoted by the people who already lived in Houston. But I digress. . .
The "notice" clearly states that I have an open ditch and not a curb and gutter, and an open ditch is one of the exceptions to not having to pay the monthly fee. BUT, I will get charged regardless UNLESS I send in my protest in a timely manner. So I have to waste my money on postage because the online protest only accepts supporting documents in a PDF or TIFF format, which I don't have the capability to do. They are counting on a number of potentially non-taxable homes not sending in the protest in time so they can collect their damn tax regardless! What kind of bull crap is THAT! I thought government was corrupt, but this is really, Really, REALLY low!
Oh yeah, and I'm now hearing through the grapevine that the city will place a meter on our well to charge us to use the water that is under our property. Who wants to make a bet that they will maintain the well in perfect working order? It's criminal!