CITY/STATE CASH FLOW INDEX: A TURN FOR THE WORSE

Last April, League staff calculated for the first time the net yearly cash flow between Texas cities and the state.  At that time, the cash flow index stood at a negative $270,700,000, or -$10.78 per capita.   That meant that cities are net donors of funds to the state, rather than the other way around, as is typical in many states.

Now that the dust of the 2011 legislative sessions has cleared, how do cities stand?  The answer is: somewhat worse than before, due to budget cuts.  The biggest hits were to local parks grants (a loss of over $17 million per year) and to mixed beverage tax distributions (a net loss of $7 million per year, though cities “lost” quite a bit more if you don’t take projected growth into account).  

Here’s a breakdown of the components of the index that are currently known to the League:

Local parks grants:
+$400,000
Mixed beverage tax:
+$123,000,000
Library grants:
+$11,500,000
Auto burglary grants:
+$14,900,000
Sales tax fee profit:
-$51,800,000
TCEQ fees:
-$41,000,000
State traffic ticket tax:
-$235,000,000
TxDOT cash "participation":
-$130,000,000
 
 
Total:
-$308,000,000
 
 
Per capita:
-$11.90
 
 

So, the index shows that Texas cities increased their per capita funding of state government from $10.78 to $11.90 just in the course of a few months.   It could have been much worse—cities avoided any increase to the state traffic ticket tax, which currently stands at $82 on a typical city traffic ticket. 

Per capita flow index chart

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