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Fort Worth, Texas, Plan Would Award Contracts to Firms That Cut Emissions
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Fort Worth, Texas, Plan Would Award Contracts to Firms That Cut Emissions

BY Scott Streater

Oct. 6--An explosion of construction, including work at North Beach Street and North Tarrant Parkway, has led to increased air pollution, some say. At a construction site in north Fort Worth, where they're building an Eckerd Drug, black smoke billows from a huge excavator as it strains to lift a concrete block. Across the street, where construction crews are preparing to build a Walgreen drugstore, road graders noisily plow the dirt as plumes of exhaust trail them like shadows.

10/06/2003
Texas Officials Warn Cities of Pension-Fund Shortfalls
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Texas Officials Warn Cities of Pension-Fund Shortfalls

BY Yamil Berard

Copyright (C) 2003 KRTBN Knight Ridder Tribune Business News

09/11/2003
Lobby Targets Tobacco Payoff
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Lobby Targets Tobacco Payoff

BY John Moritz

AUSTIN--With Texas facing a $9.9 billion budget shortfall, the head of the state's largest business lobby is pushing what he calls a sure-fire way to pay the bills without raising taxes. Sell the future earnings on the state's $17.3 billion settlement with the nation's largest tobacco companies for a lump-sum payment of up to $5 billion, said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business. "It's like the cash-option on a winning lotto ticket," said Hammond, whose organization boasts 140,000 Texas employers. "You take a lump sum upfront." But Peggy Venable, director of the equally conservative Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, calls Hammond's suggestion a smoke screen. "This is not the time for smoke-and-mirror gimmicks," Venable said. "This is the time for lawmakers to get serious about making the budget cuts we need to put the state back in the business of providing the core services and look for ways to keep paying for programs that might need to be re-evaluated." State leaders are scrambling for ways to bridge the massive deficit for the two-year budget cycle that begins Sept. 1. The state's Republican leaders -- Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick -- have handed down the message that they would not support any new taxes. But they have also said that they plan to protect what they call the state's core services. Dewhurst, who presides over the Texas Senate, acknowledged last week that lawmakers are going to have to find what he calls nontax revenue sources to avoid deep and painful cuts in social programs. Texas' 1998 settlement with Big Tobacco calls for the companies to make annual payments to the state of about $500 million. The exact number depends on a variety of factors, including the rate of tobacco consumption in the state. Hammond's organization estimates that the state could bring in as much as $5 billion by selling the future tobacco earnings. Dewhurst said that lawmakers ought to take a close look at the idea. "That could be a possibility," Dewhurst told reporters recently. "I don't want to get out front and prejudge where [lawmakers] might end up. But in the numbers I have looked at [to balance the budget], that has been included." Several states, including California, New Jersey and Washington, have sold at least a portion of their tobacco settlements. Wisconsin has sold its $5.9 billion settlement for $1.3 billion to alleviate a severe cash crunch. Texas lawmakers used the initial installments to establish a variety of endowments for health-related projects and to combat youth smoking. But the lion's share of the tobacco money has been earmarked for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage for children in low-income working families. Joel Spivak, spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said that selling the settlement's future earnings would undermine those programs. And he rejected the comparison to a lump-sum lottery payout, noting that someone who claims the million-doller prize is set for life, while $5 billion would barely pay the state's bills for a month. "We take a very dim view of it," Spivak said. "You take a short-term gain, for what? Pennies on the dollar. And once that money's gone, it ain't coming back." Hammond said that if the Legislature chooses to raise taxes instead of selling the tobacco settlement, Texans will always be on the hook. "Economic downturns are temporary," he said. "Tax increases are forever." Hammond argued that the state could sell just a portion of the future earnings, or it could invest some of the proceeds in a trust fund. "You don't have to spend it all," he said. "You could spend some and put the rest into an endowment. The earnings from the endowment could be used in future years. "The upside is, you get the state out of the business of betting on tobacco consumption." ONLINE: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, www.tobaccofreekids.com Texas Association of Business, www.txbiz.org Citizens for a Sound Economy, www.cse.org

03/16/2003
House Panel Underwhelmed by Metroplex Hotels Proposal
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House Panel Underwhelmed by Metroplex Hotels Proposal

BY John Kirsch

AUSTIN--A plan pushed by Dallas and Fort Worth officials to use hotel-motel tax revenues to build convention center hotels got a skeptical reception Wednesday from a state House panel. "This, to me, appears to be corporate welfare," state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, told Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. Miller and seven Dallas City Council members appeared before the House Economic Development Committee on Wednesday morning to promote House Bill 262. The measure is sponsored by Miller's husband, state Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dallas. It would permit Dallas and other Texas cities, including Fort Worth, to use some hotel-motel tax revenues to build convention center hotels. The tax revenue would normally go to the state. Miller said the bill would allow Dallas to compete more successfully for lucrative conventions being lost to Las Vegas and other cities that have more hotels. She said Dallas must offer subsidies to lure development downtown. "Nationally, it has been shown that convention center hotels that are attached to convention centers have to receive tax subsidies, or else they don't get built," she said. Fort Worth City Councilwoman Becky Haskin said that Houston already qualifies for the option, and that allowing smaller cities to take advantage of it would bring more conventions to Texas. Fort Worth had planned to issue $160 million in debt through certificates of obligation to build a 600-room hotel. That plan was derailed when a taxpayers group forced the issue to a public vote by presenting the City Council with a petition signed by more than 15,000 residents. The council has postponed a vote while a committee determines whether a publicly financed hotel is needed. A study released by an Austin-based watchdog group concluded that a tax-subsidized hotel in Dallas would not increase demand for hotel rooms and would drain business from existing hotels. "Though well-intentioned, these projects are not a good deal," said Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, which commissioned the study. But Thomas Hazinski, managing director of HVS International, a Chicago-based hotel industry consulting firm, said the study was flawed. He said his firm's analysis of the Dallas project found that it would bring in 12 new events annually and pump $300 million into the local economy. "It really is the opposite of corporate welfare," he said.

03/13/2003
Tax-Subsidized Hotels Don't Help Cities, Group's Study Says
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Tax-Subsidized Hotels Don't Help Cities, Group's Study Says

BY Mary Mckee

DALLAS--A tax-subsidized convention center hotel is a bad deal because it will not spur an increased demand for hotel rooms and will take business away from existing hotels, according to a study funded by an Austin-based taxpayer watchdog group. Source Strategies Inc. of San Antonio, which analyzes hotel occupancy rates and taxes for the Texas Department of Commerce, was commissioned by the Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy to research the issue because Fort Worth and Dallas are considering such projects to boost convention business in those cities. An analysis of historical data from 16 convention center-area hotels that opened since 1980 in Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio did not find additional growth in hotel room revenue in those cities despite the claim by supporters that new hotels would generate more business, said Bruce Walker, president of Source Strategies. The study, which cost $25,000, also concluded that a Dallas hotel is not a sound investment. The Dallas Taxpayers Rights Coalition, which opposes a tax-subsidized convention center hotel, helped pay for the study. If a $276 million, 1,200-room hotel were publicly subsidized, Walker estimates that Dallas taxpayers would have to chip in $108 million -- and could lose $10 million or more in lost property taxes if the values of nearby hotels drop because of lost business. He projected that downtown Dallas hotels would lose $450 million in lost revenue and $190 million in net profits during the first five years of operation for a convention center hotel. Occupancy rates, which are now at 53 percent and expected to rise to just over 58 percent during the next several years, are projected to dip to 56 percent if a new convention center hotel opened in 2006, Walker said. "Summing it up, convention center hotels do not generate their own demand," Walker said during a news conference at the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas. "It's a myth." Mayor Laura Miller questioned the study's findings, saying the city's convention experts believe that a hotel adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center is an integral part of attracting more convention business to Dallas, which in turn would produce more revenue. "All I know is our convention officials who have been working for years to bring conventions to Dallas tell us that without a doubt, not having a hotel attached to our facility hurts our ability to bring in conventions," she said. Miller's husband, state Rep. Steve Wolens, D-Dallas, has filed a bill that would allow the city to use a portion of the hotel-motel tax generated by the new convention center hotel to pay debt issued for the project. The tax would come from the portion allocated to the state. The bill has been assigned to the Economic Development Committee and Wolens has requested a public hearing. In Fort Worth, the city had planned to issue $160 million in debt, through certificates of obligation, to pay for a 600-room facility that would have been managed by the Hilton Hotel Corp. But the city's hotel plans were derailed when a nonprofit group, Citizens for Taxpayers Rights, forced the issue to a public vote by presenting the City Council with a petition signed by more than 15,000 residents. The city has postponed a vote on the issue while a committee studies whether a publicly financed convention center hotel is needed.

03/06/2003
Perry Offers Budget with Zero Dollars
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Perry Offers Budget with Zero Dollars

BY John Moritz

AUSTIN--Saying every dollar the state spends must be fully accounted for, Gov. Rick Perry submitted his proposal Friday for the 2004-05 budget cycle and recommended that state agencies start at zero and justify every amount they request. Perry, a Republican who took office two years ago and was elected to his first four-year term in November, called his proposal "historic." His 15-page document gives no indication about which agencies he thinks need more money and which could get by with less. Critics accused Perry of shirking his obligation to lay out his priorities to a Legislature that opened its 140-day session this week with the news that the state is facing a $9.9 billion shortfall over the next two years. Costs are spiraling for programs such as Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance while receipts from sales taxes and other sources are lagging because of the sluggish economy. In a news release, Perry said he plans to work closely with lawmakers to flesh out the spending plan, which he said would meet the state's essential needs over the next two years. Perry, along with fellow Republicans Tom Craddick, the new House speaker, and incoming Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has been urging the GOP-dominated Legislature to resist any pressure to raise taxes. The budget for the present two-year cycle is $114 billion. "The current fiscal situation demands that we re-examine the core responsibilities of government and the state spending practices of the past dozen years," said Perry, who issued his budget recommendation in cooperation with Dewhurst and Craddick. "This budget starts at zero, because in tough budgetary times, every dollar spent by government must be scrutinized to determine whether it justifies consideration as a priority." In Fort Worth, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn neither praised nor criticized the budget proposal. It is "certainly the leadership's prerogative" to submit such a budget, Strayhorn said before speaking to a group of real estate agents Friday at the Petroleum Club. "I'll let the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker speak for themselves on what they're doing," she said. Strayhorn said she has suggested a different approach to solving the shortfall. Her plan would give agencies a working number and force them to justify additional expenditures, she said. While the three top leaders said the unprecedented action of recommending a zero budget will end with greater accountability for state spending, critics called the document an abdication of their responsibility to set priorities for the Legislature, which meets for 20 weeks every other year. "The governor is the chief executive officer of our state, and he is required by the Texas Constitution to make recommendations for funding the state's needs to the Legislature," said F. Scott McCown, who heads the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank. "By zeroing out every agency, he is admitting that he cannot make budget recommendations to meet the state's needs without additional revenue," McCown said. The head of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy praised the idea of starting the budget at zero, saying that no state agency should begin the process expecting a sum because it may have received that amount in the past. "It's a whole new day in Texas," said Peggy Venable, executive director of the conservative group. "It's time to take a fresh look at everything the state is spending money on and make the decision as to whether it's appropriate to continue these expenditures." Craddick, a veteran lawmaker who is beginning his first term leading the sometimes fractious House, said the new way of budgeting will give Texans a more informed look at how the state spends money. "We are committed to starting our budget at zero and ending within available revenue, providing Texans with more detailed information on how we spend their tax dollars," said Craddick, of Midland. "However, as the governor is well aware, the House is comprised of 150 very diverse members." Molly Beth Malcolm, chairwoman of the Texas Democratic Party, predicted that the "zero" recommendation is more likely to result in chaos than in consensus. "Gov. Perry and the Republicans campaigned promising leadership, vision and experience," Malcolm said. "The legislative session has just started, and already Gov. Perry is again failing to lead, and showing no vision at a time when the budget crunch demands tough decisions."

01/18/2003
Perry offers budget with zero dollars
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Perry offers budget with zero dollars

BY JOHN MORITZ

AUSTIN--Saying every dollar the state spends must be fully accounted for, Gov. Rick Perry submitted his proposal Friday for the 2004-05 budget cycle and recommended that state agencies start at zero and justify every amount they request. Perry, a Republican who took office two years ago and was elected to his first four-year term in November, called his proposal "historic." His 15-page document gives no indication about which agencies he thinks need more money and which could get by with less. Critics accused Perry of shirking his obligation to lay out his priorities to a Legislature that opened its 140-day session this week with the news that the state is facing a $9.9 billion shortfall over the next two years. Costs are spiraling for programs such as Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance while receipts from sales taxes and other sources are lagging because of the sluggish economy. In a news release, Perry said he plans to work closely with lawmakers to flesh out the spending plan, which he said would meet the state's essential needs over the next two years. Perry, along with fellow Republicans Tom Craddick, the new House speaker, and incoming Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has been urging the GOP-dominated Legislature to resist any pressure to raise taxes. The budget for the present two-year cycle is $114 billion. "The current fiscal situation demands that we re-examine the core responsibilities of government and the state spending practices of the past dozen years," said Perry, who issued his budget recommendation in cooperation with Dewhurst and Craddick. "This budget starts at zero, because in tough budgetary times, every dollar spent by government must be scrutinized to determine whether it justifies consideration as a priority." In Fort Worth, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn neither praised nor criticized the budget proposal. It is "certainly the leadership's prerogative" to submit such a budget, Strayhorn said before speaking to a group of real estate agents Friday at the Petroleum Club. "I'll let the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker speak for themselves on what they're doing," she said. Strayhorn said she has suggested a different approach to solving the shortfall. Her plan would give agencies a working number and force them to justify additional expenditures, she said. While the three top leaders said the unprecedented action of recommending a zero budget will end with greater accountability for state spending, critics called the document an abdication of their responsibility to set priorities for the Legislature, which meets for 20 weeks every other year. "The governor is the chief executive officer of our state, and he is required by the Texas Constitution to make recommendations for funding the state's needs to the Legislature," said F. Scott McCown, who heads the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank. "By zeroing out every agency, he is admitting that he cannot make budget recommendations to meet the state's needs without additional revenue," McCown said. The head of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy praised the idea of starting the budget at zero, saying that no state agency should begin the process expecting a sum because it may have received that amount in the past. "It's a whole new day in Texas," said Peggy Venable, executive director of the conservative group. "It's time to take a fresh look at everything the state is spending money on and make the decision as to whether it's appropriate to continue these expenditures." Craddick, a veteran lawmaker who is beginning his first term leading the sometimes fractious House, said the new way of budgeting will give Texans a more informed look at how the state spends money. "We are committed to starting our budget at zero and ending within available revenue, providing Texans with more detailed information on how we spend their tax dollars," said Craddick, of Midland. "However, as the governor is well aware, the House is comprised of 150 very diverse members." Molly Beth Malcolm, chairwoman of the Texas Democratic Party, predicted that the "zero" recommendation is more likely to result in chaos than in consensus. "Gov. Perry and the Republicans campaigned promising leadership, vision and experience," Malcolm said. "The legislative session has just started, and already Gov. Perry is again failing to lead, and showing no vision at a time when the budget crunch demands tough decisions." ONLINE: www.governor.state.tx.us/budget John Moritz, (512) 476-4294 jmoritz@star-telegram.com -PHOTO- 1. Head shot: Gov. Rick Perry

01/18/2003
Texas Business Lobby Urges Selling Future Earnings on Tobacco Settlement
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Texas Business Lobby Urges Selling Future Earnings on Tobacco Settlement

BY John Moritz

Mar. 16-AUSTIN, Texas-With Texas facing a $9.9 billion budget shortfall, the head of the state's largest business lobby is pushing what he calls a sure-fire way to pay the bills without raising taxes. Sell the future earnings on the state's $17.3 billion settlement with the nation's largest tobacco companies for a lump-sum payment of up to $5 billion, said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business.

01/01/2003
GOP's Plan is to Push Agenda
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GOP's Plan is to Push Agenda

BY John Mortiz

AUSTIN--Flush with a smashing Election Day victory, Texas Republicans now hope to advance a legislative agenda they say has been blocked by decades of Democratic dominance. Even though they have held the governor's office for eight years, controlled the Texas Senate for six of those and have carried every statewide office for the past four years, the Republicans' power has always been checked by a Democratic majority in the Texas House and by its Democratic speaker. The elections broke the Democrats' control of the House and Democrat Pete Laney's 10-year reign as speaker. The Republicans' consolidation of power comes as Texas faces a looming budget shortfall and with voters demanding relief from the spiraling cost and declining coverage of homeowners insurance policies. But even with their unchallenged authority over all branches and all agencies of state government, the extent of the mandate handed to the Republicans remains unclear. "The only clear mandate that came out of the election was to fix homeowners insurance and maybe say no to a tax hike," said Harvey Kronberg, who publishes the Austin political newsletter Quorum Report. "The Republicans are not going to want to write a tax bill their first session when they are completely in charge." The Republican victors, led by Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov.-elect David Dewhurst, agree that homeowners insurance will be on the front burner Jan. 14 when lawmakers assemble for the 78th Legislature. But they adamantly insist that voters gave them clear instructions to wage a frontal assault on the challenges they say will face Texas in 2003. "We will address the state budget with a tighter belt, through budgetary reform, and with an eye toward smarter spending," Perry said in his first post-election news conference. "With a $114 billion budget, we have the resources to keep our fiscal house in order. We must now show the courage to set priorities. "We will address the lawsuit abuse that jeopardizes jobs and that drives up the cost of health care while good men and women leave the medical profession," said Perry, who won in his own right the job he assumed when George W. Bush became president. "And central to providing economic security for the people of Texas is rate relief for Texans who have been overcharged for their homeowners insurance policies." With Texas facing a budget shortfall of $5 billion to $12 billion during the two-year cycle that begins in September, business interests and conservative organizations hailed Perry's pledge to hold the line on state spending and new taxes. That pledge was echoed by Dewhurst and state Rep. Tom Craddick of Midland, who will be Texas' first Republican House speaker in more than a century. "Thank God for Tom Craddick for saying new taxes are off the table and everything else is on the table," said Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy. "Our members want smaller government; they want government to do less, not more. And I think that's what the voters want, too. I think that's what they were saying on Tuesday." But some from the other side of the political spectrum warned the winners not to read too much into the election returns. Samantha Smoot, who heads the Texas Freedom Network, said voters embraced the GOP because the candidates preached from a moderate platform. The party's statewide candidates were careful to steer clear of issues such as limiting reproductive choice and offering tax-dollar vouchers to send children to private schools, Smoot said. The Republicans would be wise not to raise them during the upcoming legislative session, she said. "These candidates went out of their way to avoid talking about issues like school vouchers and other pet causes of the far right wing," Smoot said. "If they now go and try to pretend that there was some sort of mandate to put those issues forward, I think that would be very deceptive." Perry said lawmakers have no reason to shy away from a "limited" voucher bill, saying the Republicans' support for such a measure is well documented. Dewhurst, who also supports vouchers, said it was doubtful that time will be available in the 140-day session to get to vouchers. Surviving Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, are assessing the shelling that their party endured on Election Day and will probably be on the defensive. "There are very few silver linings on our side," said state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston. "We took a pretty big hit, and there's no way to sugar-coat it." Having spent the past six years on the minority in the Senate, Gallegos and other Democrats have grown adept at using rules and parliamentary procedures to protect their turf. A key Senate rule -- one that requires the agreement of 21 of the 31 senators for a floor debate on any bill -- has traditionally kept that chamber in the political center. However, with Republicans now holding 19 Senate seats, a push to change the rules and allow bills to come to the floor with a simple majority vote is possible. "It's still real early in the process to know whether anyone is going to want to change the rules," Gallegos said. "I still haven't met a lot of the new senators yet. I plan to sit down with the lieutenant governor-elect [who presides over the Senate]. And I guess the Democratic caucus will want to meet to see what our agenda is going to be." Most observers said that solving the budget will consume much of the session. Some also said that the first programs targeted for cuts would be those benefiting low-income Texans because several of the lawmakers who championed such initiatives will be leaving. Gone are state Sen. Mike Moncrief, D-Fort Worth, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and state Rep. Patricia Gray, D-Galveston, the House Public Health Committee chairwoman. Both declined to seek re-election because their districts were redrawn with less friendly constituencies. "Some of the health programs could be in jeopardy," said Kronberg, the Quorum Report publisher. "You might see some rollback [in the Children's Health Insurance Program] and cuts in the discretionary Medicaid funding." F. Scott McCown, who heads the Center for Public Policy Priorities, said there will be a fight over those cuts. "It will be our mission to protect the Children's Health Insurance Program, Medicaid and Child Protective Services," McCown said. Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, a Republican who chalked up the largest majority of any statewide candidate, said the left-leaning organization will have her as an ally in that cause. "I am identifying ways we can deliver health care to our uninsured and underinsured more efficiently and with less money so that no child should have to do without," said Rylander, the state's top budget officer. Consultant Chuck McDonald, who was press secretary under Democratic Gov. Ann Richards and now represents several business organizations, predicted that the Republicans will use their newfound clout in Austin wisely. "I think the Texas Republicans will continue the tradition of bipartisanship in the Legislature," McDonald said. "People who are expecting a real one-sided agenda are going to be disappointed. I think the Republicans are capable of governing." Key legislative issues * Homeowners insurance -- Observers and players agree that voters expect action to reduce spiraling homeowners insurance rates. Gov. Rick Perry has designated the issue a legislative emergency, meaning that it will be tackled early and that a bill could go into law immediately after the governor signs it. Key players: State Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, who has called for a special session on homeowners insurance, and state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Marble Falls, who led a legislative committee that spent the past year studying the issue. * Budget shortfall -- The state budget is shaping up as an issue that could dominate the agenda. The official estimate is that lawmakers will face a $5 billion shortfall for 2004-05; some say it could reach $12 billion. Key players: Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, who is charged with making the official revenue estimate and who must certify the budget before it can take effect; and the chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, who have not yet been named. * Social programs -- Health and human-service programs are called "budget drivers" because they eat up a giant share of the state's revenue. Pressure will be tremendous to contain these costs and not to slash social services.

11/11/2002
Group Challenges Kirk's Record
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Group Challenges Kirk's Record

BY Mary McKee

DALLAS--A group of taxpayer watchdogs Friday challenged claims that former Mayor Ron Kirk left the city on sound financial footing, saying that the city's recent budgetary struggles tell a different story. Campaign advertisements by Kirk, the Democratic contender for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Phil Gramm, have emphasized his record of balancing budgets and cutting taxes, but the taxpayers said their tax bills grew during Kirk's six-year tenure because of higher appraisals. "The trick-or-treat antics of politicians claiming to cut property taxes while ramping up assessments is nothing short of financial trickery," said Peggy Venable, director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. "While claiming to have balanced the city budget, Ron Kirk left Dallas to deal with a $95 million budget deficit." Kirk's campaign spokes-man, Justin Lonon, disputed the claim that Kirk is to blame for the city's recent $94 million budget shortfall, saying that the losses were tied to the economic downturn after the 2001 terrorist attacks. "No one could foresee the events of Sept. 11 and what effect that would have on cities all over the country, especially a city like Dallas that depends on tourism and convention business through sales tax revenue," Lonon said. Several of the speakers at the news conference have been longtime Kirk critics, including former City Councilwoman Donna Blumer and city watchdog Sharon Boyd, who is backing Kirk's Republican opponent, state Attorney General John Cornyn.

10/26/2002

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