Mayor Mike Rawlings issued an open letter to Dallas residents this afternoon requesting they contact lawmakers in Austin considering a taxpayer bailout of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension plan. According to Rawlings, “The news I bring you is not good.” He is not pleased with the proposal House Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Flynn, of Canton, has on the table. He describes the plan as, “unnecessarily expensive Dallas pension taxpayer bailout.” Apparently, Rawlings is frustrated to see the changes he is advocating was not included in the proposal. Recommendations, he expected Flynn to embrace.
“We thought they would be well received by a purported fiscal conservative such as Chairman Flynn. Surprisingly, Chairman Flynn’s office has so far rejected all of our attempts at a compromise that would make HB 3158 fiscally prudent,” Rawlings’ letter states.
This proposal is not related to the one discussed earlier this week, which would allow Dallas to redirect a portion of the DART tax revenue to rescue the pension plan.
Rawlings says he is opposing the plan because it would cost Dallas taxpayers at least $1.35 billion over the next 30 years. Lead to reduced essential services or a hefty tax hike and it does not address the fundamental issues which have crippled the pension plan. He also suggests all of this will impact recruitment efforts for the fire and police departments.
Recent headlines and billboards have shown other cities such as San Antonio are very actively recruiting potential and current police and fire personnel.
Rawlings closed by requesting voters reach out to the lawmakers and ask them to support his amendments to House Bill 3158.