Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fort Worth Budget Tops $1 Billion

City spending will top $1 billion next year, for the first time, the Startlegram reported today. Residents will see more police and fire protection but no decrease in the tax rate, according to a proposed budget unveiled Tuesday.

The City Council won't have to make the sort of cuts for the 2008 fiscal year that City Manager Charles Boswell had predicted in previous budget discussions. But the budget will still be strained as the city begins paying for a long-term fix in the municipal pension fund. Water bills will rise as the water and sewer rates go up, as does the storm water fee.

However, budget looks to be on a collision course with some members of the city council who are looking for a tax reduction. Fort Worth has the highest tax rate of any large city in Texas, at 86 cents per $100 assessed valuation. One big area of concern for me personally is the $410 million shortfall in municipal pensions over the next 30 years. The budget allots $9 million to pay for the city's cost of fixing this problem. Is that really enough?


Bernie said...

The 9 million alone is not enough to fix the pension shortfall, but they'll be appropriating more money every year to shore up the pension fund (I guess since the shortfall is figured over the next 30 years, the city plans to take 30 years to fix their screw-up).

Steve-O said...

Unless Barnett Shale money goes toward it, they'll probably need every bit of that 30 years.