Dallas Budget and Bond Issuance at a Crossroads

Plans for a new bond vote in Dallas is setting off many different partisan groups concerned with how the 2017 bond issuance will be spent.

Poor funding for police pension plans in Dallas is setting off concerns regarding the plans as well as financial prudence and taxes among both government officials and citizens.

The current estimates for the shortfalls vary widely, but it is believed that the current shortfall for the pension funding for the Police and Fire departments in Dallas Texas is between three and seven billion dollars; a staggering sum.

The Pension board of the city is looking for the city of Dallas to contribute millions of dollars to make up for the shortfall of funds. A quote by A.C. Gonzalez, a Dallas City Manager, indicated that the options are limited to the City borrowing money to contribute, using money from the city’s general fund, or putting into place a tax hike to cover the gap in financing. Few appear to support his suggestions and instead delays in votes for bond issuance have been put in place.

Much of the concerns surround what the city believed to be needed critical repairs, such as those of potholes in the city which require over $100 million to repair, in addition to another $400 million for street improvements. In addition, Dallas has approximately $3.6 billion in planned repairs and maintenance to the city. Some city councilors are trying to make the latest bond issuance about just streets and roads whose transportation will help to clear up many issuance and allow for growth in a city that has been hampered by poor transportation.

Other projects that the city may support are new libraries and parks that residents have been requesting, though many are doubtful that these will be approved given the more pressing concerns. In addition, many citizens are concerned that the debt burden for the city of Dallas has grown too high and they future citizens will suffer for the financial problems that the city is currently dealing with, though advocates for the spending are predicting growth developing from the spending.