Dallas Votes to Give Developers Taxation Powers

And Steps on Many Toes

Dallas City Hall took a little-publicized step Wednesday toward creating districts that would give private developers the power to tax and issue public debt. They want to turn three areas into Municipal Management Districts, similar to those already seen in Houston.

According to the Dallas Business Journal, the three sites include:

  • North Oak Cliff ­-- A 313-acre urban infill project being developed by Dallas-based Incap Fund in what’s being called the River District Area. It includes pockets roughly bounded by Davis Street on the south, Cockrell Hill Road on the west, Interstate 30 on the north and Zang Boulevard on the east.
  • Trinity River West -- A 342-acre site owned by investment company West Dallas Investments surrounding the westside connection point of the planned Calatrava Bridge. It’s roughly bounded by Commerce Street on the south, Sylvan Avenue on the west, Pueblo Street on the north and Beckley Avenue on the east.
  • North Lake ­-- A 942-acre site being developed by Lucy Billingsley, roughly bounded by Belt Line Road on the north and west, Hackberry Drive on the south, and Vista Circle and Lakebreeze Road to the east.

In the resolution passed Wednesday by City Hall, taxation can only be levied with the approval of a majority of voters within the district.

Because the passing of the resolution came as a surprise to many, there has been some controversy over whether it was intended to be covert. However, a committee briefing outlining the whole plan has been available on the Dallas City Hall Web site since at least Jan. 20.

Those in the West Dallas/Oak Cliff area can also attend a General Membership Meeting on Friday at 11:30 a.m. Karl Zavikovksy, director of economic development for the city, will discuss the alleged benefits of the district in that area.

All Municipal Management Districts must be approved by state Legislature before taking effect by state law.

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