City Hall

Dollars, Taxes: As City Manager Finishes Work on New Budget, the Comptroller's Good News

On Monday, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will cut the city of Dallas a sales-tax revenue check for $16,658,081.23, as you can see above; City Manager Mary Suhm says that's 13 straight months the city has seen a "slight increase" in tax revenue, among the "slight, slow signs of a recovery." But, she tells Unfair Park this morning, "What makes me more comfortable is we're seeing an increase in building permits, which is a longer-term good sign."

Suhm will present to council her FY2011-12 budget the first week of August; she says she's got less than 30 days to cut around $20 million in order to balance the budget. "And we've been pretty conservative in our projections, and we've adjusted it as we've seen the series of good results," she says, referring to the comptroller's announcement. "But I'll be interested in next month's results. I think the drop in gas prices is significant enough that next month we ought to see another increase. But so far the increase has been sunstantial enough that we can begin to count on it."

Numbers, of course, don't reveal what caused last month's 5-percent jump; "the Mavs stuff may have had something to do with it," she says. Suhm says she's also particularly happy with Joel Kotkin's Forbes piece this week, which ranks Dallas as the No. 7 "boom town" in the U.S., a city "emerging as the ideal place for corporate relocation." Says the city manager, "I think in the next two, three years there are good things to come. We've got a good infrastructure to build on for the future, so it's an exciting place to be."