Conventional waste is coming to Dallas, with the city council planning to purchase a plot of downtown land on which to build an attached Dallas Convention Center hotel. The purchase of land is estimated to set taxpayers back up to $41.3 million. All for something the marketplace can do, much better.

If the city were to by the land for this projected amount they would be paying $33.8 million over the Dallas Central Appraisal Districts $7.5 million current land valuation. This was one of the reasons Angela Hunt gave for her vote of dissent. Ms. Hunt along with Mitchell Rasansky, were the only two council members to vote against the project, according to the Dallas Morning News.

In addition to overpaying for the land, Councilwoman Hunt wants to let taxpayers decide whether the project is worth its weight and aligns with taxpayer interests stating, “A convention center hotel that’s subsidized with taxpayer money should also go before voters.”

On both counts Ms. Hunt and her cohort in dissention, or rather ascension to the defense of taxpayers, should be commended. The idea of a referendum is not supported by the council at large.

As if burdening the taxpayers with this project were not enough the city is also saying that any land that is not used (about half of the aprox. 9 acres), could be sold to private developers, allowing the city to recoup some of its initial “investment.”

Here’s a better deal for taxpayers: let the market figure out how to use the land and met the convention-going needs of Dallas.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.


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