The Greater Houston Partnership is committed to working alongside City leaders, communities and other stakeholders on complex challenges facing our city and its future. We recognize that for Houston to grow and for Houstonians to thrive, the business community must play an active and constructive role.
One of Houston’s thorniest challenges is its long-term financial health – and more specifically its persistent structural budget deficit. For years, the City has passed budgets reflecting year-over-year expenditures growing faster than revenues, closing the gap with one-off windfalls and deferred expenses.
Over the summer, the Partnership formed the City of Houston Budget Task Force to better understand the City's structural deficit. The Task Force had three objectives: (1) to develop an empirical understanding of the City’s financial structure and (2) to help identify ways to enhance the delivery of the services and benefits Houstonians should expect, while (3) achieving long-term financial stability by bringing its budget into structural balance.
The Task Force engaged Professor John Diamond of Rice University to help lead the research and compile a report, State of the City’s Finances – A Deep Dive into the Fiscal Issues Facing the City. This report examines the financial challenges facing the City and discusses the opportunities available for the City, business and community leaders to work together on strategies and policies that will enable Houston to realize a structurally balanced budget – enabling the City to grow and its people to thrive over the coming decades.