Are you crying for your city’s budgeteers?

Pratt on TexasAs Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the maker of Kleenex, is a Texas-based company I’ll ask you to get your box of Kleenex ready and have one of the famous tissues ready to dab your eyes with.

“Property tax reform and a ban on red-light cameras are among bills that will hit city budgets. Local officials across the state are trying to calculate just how much money they’ll forgo as the laws take effect,” read a subhead in a Texas Tribune story bemoaning how legislation is hitting local government budgets.

City spenders are upset over SB2’s property tax reform which, you should know, doesn’t in anyway reduce the amount of money a city takes in over the year prior. They are upset over SB1125 which stops them from charging certain franchise taxes for telecommunications which gets passed along to you anyway on your bill. And, the city spenders who were still immorally running red light camera scams on their citizens are angry they’ll no longer have that revenue because as we’ve known all along those cameras were a revenue scheme and never a safety program.

…all the money they are wailing about not getting is your money to begin with.

The only legitimate hit to municipal budgets from the Legislature is the telecom franchise tax reform but even it is tiny. The Texas Tribune, in its woe-is-us story on city budgets, reports that the hit to Dallas’ $3.6 billion 2020 city budget from the reform is only .18 percent of revenue – that’s less than 1/5th of 1 percent for the math challenged. [The Tribune tried to make it look big by listing the dollars; I have provided the percentage which sends a very different message.]

So, pull out another Kleenex and cry for city councils and administrators if you want, but remember, all the money they are wailing about not getting is your money to begin with.

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