Written by Phil Cerroni
Dallas County is trying to follow a radical approach to expansion – buy what you can afford, not what you want.
For Dallas County’s District Two Commissioner, Mike Cantrell, the proof is in the numbers. He compared Dallas County’s $73 debt per capita to other large cities which he said are above $270 per person.
Cantrell said the County is able to keeps its taxes low because it relies on money it already has, as much as possible, as opposed to fundraising via means like bond sales.
“We had a dedicated tax revenue [of] 4.5 cents. We took that and decided we were going to pay for everything as we go,” Cantrell said. “We’re not going to pay interest on debt anymore.
“By 2021, we will be debt free. And in addition to being debt free, by 2021 we’ll be throwing off from that 4.5 cents 90 to 100 million dollars.”
The extra revenue will be allotted to infrastructure projects like parks, buildings and roads. Cantrell said doing business this way has already saved the County from raising the tax by 1.7 cents.
Although the County can tax citizens as much as 80 cents on the dollar, the rate is currently 24.31 cents, the fifth lowest in Texas.