Mayor Dr. John E. Harper – Fiscal Sustainability for City of Rowlett

Rowlett Mayor John Harper

The City of Rowlett, like so many cities in North Texas, is faced with the issue of sustainability.   Simply defined, sustainability means that the costs of recurring City obligations are increasing faster than projected recurring revenues are increasing.   In order to avoid deficits, city expenses must be reduced.   Alternatively, municipal services must be reduced and/or city property taxes must be increased to maintain the status quo. (see footnote-1)

The City of Rowlett is well-positioned for growth in its commercial tax base due to the Bush Turnpike Extension and the DART Blue Line Extension.   However, the full impact of those economic engines and the growth in property tax revenue is many years away.  Furthermore, the City will need to partner with businesses in order to attract them to Rowlett.   That will require investment in their projects.  Rowlett currently has no extra funds for this purpose.

Rowlett Mayor John Harper posed the following questions to a joint meeting of the Rowlett and Rockwall Tea Parties. How would you answer?

Editor’s Footnotes

1 – It is a usual and customary practice for governments to hold reserve funds for non-recurring expenses (emergencies) equal to approximately five months budgeted recurring expenses. City of Rowlett has only 45 days in reserve.

2 – Dr. John Harper, ED.D., CPA – biographical information:

City of Rowlett Website

Announces candidacy for re-election –  news article

Chief Financial Officer – The Cooper Institute

3 – Dr. Harper presented facts about City of Rowlett finances and sustainability at Rowlett Public Library on March 19, 2011. Rowlett TEA Party hosted a townhall meeting for citizens of Rowlett. For photos, click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=88673437004&aid=275464

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