Dallas, It's Time for a Budget Brainstorm!

Hard to believe -- we're only seven months away from our first look at next fiscal year's budget. Which is why, on Wednesday, the city council's holding a FY 2010-2011 budget workshop, during which City Manager Mary Suhm will provide the council with a win-some-lose-some revenue outlook that suggests further belt-tightening is on the horizon, as in: "Appraisal districts' staff forecasts as much as 10% value loss for commercial property and 1% value loss for residential property; resulting in overall value loss of approximately 6%." And raising Atmos franchise fees won't cover that potential $37 million shortfall.

So what other fee-raising ideas does the city have in mind? Glad you asked: In advance of Wednesday's meeting, the city manager has offered some FY2010-11 Budget: Brainstorming Ideas, which, she acknowledges, "have not been fully vetted," while "some of the ideas are more long-term in nature and might not yield positive budget impact until future years." Still, if and when sanitation fees are hiked and more parking meters start showing up and when you have to start paying for garage sale permits and there's a tax placed on plastic bags and bottles, well, don't say you weren't warned.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky