A List of the Budget-Busting State Legislative Items That Really Concern Mary Suhm

Speaking of mixed beverages, you may need one of these before reading any further.
Below is City Manager Mary Suhm's memo to the council noting that revenue from red-light cameras is way below last September's FY2010-11 guesstimates. But at present, that's the least of her concerns: On Wednesday, the council will hear from Assistant City Attorney Larry Casto, the city's Director of Legislative Affairs, who will sneak peek the pending legislation down in Austin that could severely impact the city's revenue stream as Suhm tries to determine whether she'll need to cut $60 million from the next fiscal year's budget or close to double that.

When you read the update, stiff drink in hand, note the potential impact is wide-ranging -- from law enforcement grants to mixed-beverage taxes to film and teevee incentives to, yes, red-light cams. An excerpt:
Mixed Beverage Tax Reimbursements
HB1 & SB1 reduce the amount allocated to cities from the current rate of 10.7143 to 8.3065 percent. This reduction would result in a state-wide cut of approximately $26 million per year.
Potential Revenue Loss: $1.8M

Increased Traffic Fines
HB 258 (Gonzalez, Naomi) increases traffic fines from $30-$50. The House Ways and Means Committee passed a bill to increase the state's take from every city traffic ticket, skimming off an additional $42 million per year from city traffic fines.
Potential Revenue Loss: $2.6M

Red Light Cameras
HB 1561 (Orr) and SB 500 (Jackson, Mike) eliminate the City's authority to implement a red light camera program. In the City of Dallas, red-light related accidents have decreased 61% since 2007 at intersection approaches with red light cameras. HB 1792 (Gutierrez) allows the state to keep 100% of the revenue after costs are covered.
Potential Revenue Loss: $1.6M
Those are but three items contained in two pages' worth of cuts that add up to many millions either in lost revenue or mandate implementation. Suhm also provides a look at other legislative items in the city's interest, from payday lenders to towing to the convention center hotel.

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Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Clearly all of you have given a lot of thought to the subject.However the Beast is HUNGRY and must be fed .( BEAST creates such a Cool image )And this is how it works out when the money has to come from somewhere .Somewhere is here and In this case the money comes in then goes away and stays gone .Most of these changes will take effect in Early 2012 ..An election year .Unfunded underfunding issues will be apparent when Business's that once relied heavily on that government FUNDING Close their because of a lack of Funding . That will be a Kick in the crotch to the Small businesses owners who Rallied around the flag with the Tea Party Folks to cut Taxes and spending I Can't wait for those notices to go out .The actual school funding changes will be noticed a little after school starts .Rolling up to the elections themselves.

I am making it a goal to call what few Democrats that are left in Austin and tell them to step back let these folks have their way.Anyone who has had the New boss or crew come in who know what they are doing and are going to change the way things are done knows to roll with it and let them have their way Keep feeding them the rope .They will either get tangled up and trip or hang themselves .

Whats it going to be in Austin ?

Amy S
Amy S

The reduction of Mixed Beverage Taxes to the city is ridiculous! Who bears the highest cost burden of law enforcement when it comes to drunk driving, underage consumption, disorderly conduct? Local police, that's who.

They could keep the reimbursement the same to the city and STILL have more tax revenue if they would just do two things:

1) Tax all poured alcoholic beverages at the same rate (14%) regardless if it is beer and wine (since when did beer and wine make people less drunk than alcohol - many people already pay the higher tax when they order a margarita or martini).

2) Tax retail sales at the same rate as well (you gonna tell me kids never get their hooch from Mom and Dad's cabinet, or that someone who drinks at home - or a friend's house - never drives drunk?).

Make it equal, make it fair, and make it assess the true cost of repair - I-30 is going to take millions to repair, and the family that lost their father? They might only be receiving worker's comp, if he qualified for it when all is said and done. Because while the TABC requires practically a rectal examination with every liquor application, it does not require liqour liability insurance coverage for those who are granted a license.


Film IncentivesThe Film Incentive Program could face reductions from its prior level of $62M/biennium to $10M for the2012-2013 biennium. In fiscal year 2009-2010 productions shot in Dallas received $13.9M in Texasincentives which generated local net revenue of $963,000, according to the Dallas Film Commission.Potential Funding Loss: $963,000

I've got a fucking brilliant idea. Screw the film industry, and just give Dallas the incentives.Why are we subsidizing crap?


The Republicans are sacrificing our cities, our children, our elderly indigent and our poorest neighbors to the altar of Rick Perry's presidential ambitions and the flame of Gorver Norquist, No Taxes Pledge. I am hopeful that the citizens of Texas as smart enought to remember the next time around.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Don't you just love the irony -- HB 1153 -- brainchild of Ken Paxton -- a/k/a "Mr. Don't Fund Anything Including Kids and Sick Grandmas", will create one of the largest unfunded mandates on the list -- $4.4 Million. Gotta love those Tea Partiers.


Love this item at the end of the document..."Governor Perry declared the eradication of sanctuary cities as an emergency item, although no standarddefinition of a sanctuary city exists."


I don't mind some subsidies, but that one seems unjustifiable

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

About the only thing voters seem to remember is how to vote straight-ticket Republican

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