Long Term Money

Budget time at the City of Houston is rapidly approaching. The Fiscal Affairs Committee has been meeting with city departments to learn about their core services. This week, they will discuss the recommendations of the Long-Term Financial Task Force.

One of the challenges of term limits is that those elected currently do not usually have to deal with the financial ramifications of their decisions as the bill often comes due after they have gone.

Last year, Council and the Mayor agreed to appoint a long-term planning committee composed of Council Members and citizens that might look to the future and make recommendations. And recommend they did. Much of what they suggested may not be feasible but some of their ideas could truly help the city to save money.

While I found some of the recommendations unrealistic, I liked the idea of a group of people considering long-term ramifications of city budgets.

This year may be better than the last few. The economy in Houston is stronger and unemployment in our region is down to 7.1%. Hopefully, this will mean more people are spending money that generates additional sales tax revenue. Properties seem to be moving again and that will help increase property taxes.

Let’s hope that this year’s budget is not nearly as challenging as the last couple of years but keep our eye on future obligations and consequences of spending. 

This entry was originally posted at Nancy Sims’ blog, Ponderings.