Houston, Texas FY 2012 budget analysis; themes of consolidation and cuts reign

Deltek Analyst Emily Magurne reports.

Houston, Texas is the fourth largest city in the United States, with a population of 2.1 million and a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics and transportation. After being elected in late 2009, Houston Mayor Annise Parker declared her administration would focus on balancing the city’s budget and selecting a new police chief, and Houston’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 proposed budget rings of the same ideals.

In order to combat a $140 million shortfall for FY 2011, Parker’s City Council raised water and sewer rates by nearly 30 percent on an average single-family household, which is a higher rate than many major U.S. municipalities. In the newly-proposed budget, Parker mentions public safety several times and calls it “our [main] priority.” Mayor Parker writes, “Developing this budget has not been without difficulty, challenges and tough decisions. The long-term forecast is for better economic times ahead, but we are not there yet.” Indeed, Houston’s Proposed 2012 Budget reflects just that – a city dedicated to improving financial conditions despite tough economic times.

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