Budget Battle At Houston City Hall

Is the city of  Houston facing a  $20 Million or $103 Million shortfall?

How could the numbers be so far apart?

That’s what many Houston city hall insiders and taxpayers are asking after city controller Annise Parker  sent  her most recent monthly financial report to Mayor Bill White and city council members,.

It projects a $103 Million shortfall in the general fund.

2 on the Beat was given a copy of the interoffice correspondence, and you can read it here: www.houstontx.gov/budget/mfr/fy10/july/i.pdf

Parker’s letter says the shortfall is a result, in part,  of the city collecting substantially less than expected revenue from both property taxes and sales taxes. 

But late Sunday evening, Mayor Whites’ spokesman Frank Michel strongly disputed the numbers released by the controller.

Michel told KPRC Local 2 that the revenue projections are off  by $20 Million, not $103 Million.  Michel said Parkers numbers are incorrect.  

He stressed that the Mayor is not considering any drastic cutbacks  in city services, nor is Mayor White on the verge of ordering furloughs for city employees.

We will hear more about the budget battle this week.  Parker is expected to brief  the mayor and council members during Wednesday’s meeting.

Both Parker and White are running for higher office, Parker for Mayor and White for the U.S. Senate.

Neither wants to look as though he or she dropped the ball on the city’s finances.

One Response

  1. Let’s see… The city is spending over $10 million dollars on a soccer stadium, $11 million on the Houston Arts Alliance, and is owed well over $100 million by METRO for street improvements that have not been paid.

    There you go, I just solved the crisis. I will be collecting my 5% consulting fee now.

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