Sep 22, 2023 - News

Dallas City Council passes biggest budget yet

Illustration of Dallas City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Where your money goes. Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Dallas City Council voted 10-5 this week to approve a record $4.6 billion city budget, despite a push by the mayor and four other council members to give residents a bigger property tax cut.

Why it matters: Even with the new property tax rate of 73.57 cents per $100 valuation ā€” a 1-cent reduction ā€” homeowners are still likely to see a larger tax bill because of increasing property values. Dallas' rate is higher than that of neighboring cities.

Catch up fast: Last year, the City Council unanimously passed a $4.5 billion budget. At the time, the mayor called it the best budget he had seen in office.

  • This year, the mayor and other council members asked the city manager to present an alternative no-new-revenue budget that would further reduce the tax rate and keep costs the same as last year.
  • After discussions, the tax rate was lowered more than the city manager had recommended.

Zoom out: The Fort Worth City Council also approved its largest budget ever ā€” $2.6 billion ā€” despite residents' complaints that even a 4-cent cut to the tax rate wouldn't be enough to offset rising property appraisal costs.

  • Plano's recently approved budget doesn't increase the tax rate and gives city employees a 4.5% pay increase. But residents will likely still have a higher property tax bill because of increased property values, per Community Impact.

Details: Fort Worth's tax rate is 67.2 cents per $100 valuation, and Plano's is 41.76 cents.

What they're saying: Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, who was among the five voting against the budget, said he could not approve it "in an environment of such economic uncertainty for our residents and businesses."

Of note: The budget also includes increases in city fees, including sanitation services and water and wastewater services.

What's next: The new budget goes into effect Oct. 1.

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