How State's Legislative Session Impacts Dallas's Revenue, Urban Parks, Libraries, Homeless ...

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Back in April Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm warned the city council that the state's $27 billion budget shortfall would end up having significant impact on the city's coffers. On Wednesday, Assistant City Attorney Larry Casto, the city's Director of Legislative Affairs, will outline to the council exactly how it all played out when he gives 'em the Summary of Legislation with Municipal Impact, which spells out the good and bad news out of Austin, beginning with the bills that lift money out of the city's wallet. Let's look at those:
• Allocations of the city share of the mixed beverage tax will be reduced by roughly 25 percent which will result in a $1.7 million annual loss to City of Dallas.
• Statewide library assistance will be cut from $54.3 million to $24.25 million for the biennium, a reduction of 55 percent, and a loss of over $300,000 to City of Dallas for 2012-2013.
• $20 million in homeless money secured in 2009 by Texas' 8 largest cities was eliminated in 2011. However, the cities successfully advocated for $10 million in the Governor's Enterprise Fund that can be used for homeless services. If able to access these funds, the City of Dallas and the Bridge should receive 50 percent of the 2009 amount or $1.7 million over the 2011-2013 biennium.
• Local parks grants will be cut from $36.2 million to $881,460, a reduction of more than 97 percent for the biennium, and eliminating capital grant funding for urban parks.
• $12 million in Law Enforcement Officer Standards & Education (LEOSE) funds were eliminated resulting in a loss of $233,000 for the City of Dallas.
• Commission on the Arts was cut approximately 50 percent resulting in a loss to the city of $77,800 for grants to local art groups.
Read all 10 pages here. In advance, I fixed you a mixed beverage.

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13 comments
RTGolden
RTGolden

Great sign!  The arabic tranlates as "Pay Attention to Thieves".  Any number of places where that sign would be appropriate, city hall, state assembly, the entire district of columbia.  Alas, it isn't being sold by the company of a buddy of the mayor, so we won't see the city buying them.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Thank gawd Goodhair and Company can attend to such important items as praying for rain and mandating sonograms (an unfunded mandate, btw).Who needs to worry about assuring adequate income to fund the operation of the state?

Mike
Mike

If the subject is local parks and local arts groups, why is the state chipping in if the state is short on money?  By definition, they are not life threatening if canceled.  Those things are nice to have and make life in your locality better.  They are not state concerns.  I'd put the homeless spending in a different category and it looks like they made better provisions for it.  What does the Law Enforcement Officer Standards & Education program do?  It sounds like something that is again nice to have, but may not do anything in the next month to jail bad guys.Cutbacks are any opportunity to focus your business or city on the things that absolutely need to be done. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

Rob't what is the story on that sign?  From the Levant?  Also, that reminds me to remind you about Eid, in 28 days from now.  I would imagine that the ceremony would be held at the Convention Center again, hope you can get a slideshow from the event.  I talked with Imam Yousef (from the Richardson Mosque and generally considered to the the foremost authority on Islam in the area) and he saw no problem with photographing the event.  You might contact him to confirm day time and to get some license to take pics. 

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Hey, we saved the "Rainy Day" fund!!!  What's your beef?!!

G_David
G_David

And Perry thinks people should continue to move here.... why?

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

So much for the "we didn't raise your taxes" spin.  The impact of the beverage tax loss will be bigger going forward than reflected here once the impact of lifting wet/dry restrictions is factored.  And good luck getting the $10M from the Governor.  Homeless people don't make campaign contributions.

cp
cp

.."money secured in 2009 by Texas' 8 largest cities was eliminated in 2011."

Does this mean that some cities went after some grant money somewhere and the State is going to take it away?

Montemalone
Montemalone

And all the gubmint types would assume we were being subjected to Sharia Law.

Amy S.
Amy S.

"The impact of the beverage tax loss will be bigger going forward than reflected here once the impact of lifting wet/dry restrictions is factored."

I'm afraid I don't understand your logic. Mixed beverage taxes relate to drinks poured at restaurants, not retail alcohol sales. These restaurants were licensed as clubs previously, and paid the exact same amount of taxes while a club (14%) as they did after they were relicensed as restaurants. The only thing affecting mixed beverage taxes on that end is the decline in total sales at restaurants, as diners move to eating at home more.

If anything, the modification to Dallas' laws will help make up for some of the mixed beverage tax losses. As the amount of packaged beer and wine sales increases in Dallas (from sales that used to take place outside city limits; Addison, Plano, Richardson, are just a few), the SALES tax that applies to these sales grows, and the state cannot take away the 2.25% that goes back to fund the city and DART.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

I say that because the changes will (and are already) resulting in more restaurants in previously under-served areas (Oak Cliff, parts of North Dallas).  That means more beverage taxes for the City, but less than the City could have expected due to the state robbing from its take.  That's what I was talking about.

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