Property taxpayers will stream a cool $48 million more into the 2021-22 City of Dallas budget than the current year, paying a total of $1.2 billion and bringing the bottom line to $4.35 billion.
That increase represents 4.16% of the proposed budget from City Manager T.C. Broadnax and includes almost $25 million in taxes raised from new construction and real estate added to the rolls this year. The enrichment comes from higher property tax valuations, not higher rates. The budget would lower the property tax rate by a third of a cent, representing a total of $4.6 million not collected, and increase the over-65 exemption to $107,000.
The city also collected $344.8 million in sales tax.
The proposed budget is $550 million more than the current one and includes $355 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act.
POTHOLES AND POLICE
The proposal puts the most money behind infrastructure and transportation, with $1.5 billion to address everything from potholes to street racing.
“We are investing millions of dollars in streets, traffic signals, sidewalks, lane markings, alleys, bike lanes, school zone flashers, and more,” Broadnax wrote in a letter to the Mayor and City Council this week. “We are piloting a street racing remediation program and traffic calming in neighborhoods.”
More than $1.082 billion would go to police and public safety.
“We are continuing to reimagine public safety, investing in RIGHT Care, mobile crisis responders, enhanced lighting, blight and nuisance remediation, and violence interrupters; by hiring more police officers, raising pay for 911 operators and dispatchers, supplementing park security, and adding an ambulance,” Broadnax wrote.
Of the budget’s eight strategic priorities, the least money — $58.2 million — goes to housing and homelessness solutions.
The proposal calls for raising the minimum wage for city employees and contractors to $15.50 per hour and “tackling the digital divide,” according to Broadnax’s letter, which also calls for “extending our water infrastructure further into unserved areas, developing a comprehensive racial equity plan, and prioritizing language access, rental assistance, and real-time rapid rehousing to address homelessness.”
The proposal is 784 pages but easy to skim through and find breakdowns on on every topic.
Have your say on the 2021-22 City of Dallas Budget or ask questions at virtual or in-person town-hall meetings starting Thursday, Aug. 12. Find your City Council district’s meeting dates here.