On Tuesday, the City Manager provided a comprehensive overview of his recommended $4.63 billion budget to the City Council.
One message was made clear during the budget workshop: the city’s spending is outpacing Dallas’ growth.
My position is and always has been that the time for responsible budgeting is now, and we must find a way to reduce the skyrocketing property tax burden on our city’s residents.
In recent years, the City of Dallas has benefitted from an unprecedented amount of one-time federal funding allocations following the pandemic in addition to growing sales tax revenues and property values. Common sense tells us (and city staff has affirmed) that the size of and cost to run Dallas city government cannot grow in perpetuity. To avoid drastic cuts in future years, it is necessary to get serious now about delivering essential services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Despite a recommended 0.65¢ decrease in the city’s property tax rate in this year’s proposed budget, the city’s property tax revenue will nevertheless increase by more than $114 million, or 9.29%, due to the unprecedented increase in the certified value of Dallas properties. This means your city government will have more revenue available to deliver services than it had in previous years even with the decreasing tax rate.
Dallas city government can go a step further than this: a budget can be passed that lowers your property tax bill, not just the rate.
Now is the time for responsible budgeting and delivering what you want: a lower tax bill.
There will be several opportunities for your voice to be heard on the upcoming budget before the City Council is scheduled to vote on the final budget for the new fiscal year on September 20. You can attend a budget town hall meeting or email your city councilmember to let them know your priorities and that you want your tax bill lowered, not just the tax rate.
You deserve and can have a city that taxes you less, spends less, and delivers essential services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Please stay informed and engaged in the process as updates are shared via this weekly newsletter.
District needs and strengths
It was great to visit Councilmember Omar Narvaez in his home district in Northwest Dallas. This was the first of a series of tours lined up with each City Councilmember at a location of his or her choosing as part of an effort to gain a better understanding of each council district’s assets and priorities. As the sole individual elected to consider the interests of all Dallas residents, regardless of district boundaries, it is important to consider the citywide impact of every council district’s needs and strengths.
Councilmember Narvaez provided a tour of the newly-renovated Bachman Recreation Center and the new Bachman Aquatic Center. This tour was a reminder of the incredible facilities operated and maintained by the Dallas Park & Recreation Department for Dallas residents to enjoy!
Bachman Recreation Center was first constructed in 1979 but was renovated and reopened in May 2021. This facility is first-rate and one-of-a-kind. Though many Dallas Park & Recreation staff members are trained to receive and serve Dallas’ special needs population, Bachman Recreation Center is the only City of Dallas recreation facility that offers dedicated programming conducted by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists.
The Bachman Aquatic Center opened in May. It is ADA accessible and includes a lap pool, climbing wall, and even, a lazy river.
Thank you, Councilmember Narvaez, for your insight and hospitality…and for introducing me to the enchiladas at Altos De Jalisco!
A Dallas legend
On Saturday, former Dallas Maverick, fourteen-time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion, and NBA Finals MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dirk has not only proven himself to be a Dallas legend on the court, but he has also been a true friend to the City of Dallas through his philanthropic efforts, which have included supporting numerous local non-profits and helping the city get through challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congratulations to a true Dallas legend and friend to our city!
The 2024 Capital Bond Program development process is underway and currently scheduled for voter approval in May 2024. Bond programs are intended to pay for the city’s capital needs, which means the authorized funds cannot legally pay for salaries, benefits, and other ongoing programmatic costs.
Members of the Community Bond Task Force (CBTF) and its five subcommittees — Critical Facilities, Economic Development & Housing, Flood Protection & Storm Drainage, Parks & Trails, and Streets — are assessing this city’s nearly $14 billion needs inventory now and preparing to recommend to the City Council a $1 billion package of capital improvement projects.
CBTF members need your input. Complete this funding allocation poll to share how you want 2024 Capital Bond Program dollars spent. You may also register to speak at an upcoming CBTF meeting to share your input directly with the 15-member CBTF appointed by the City Council or email your priorities to email@example.com.
This bond election will impact Dallas residents for generations to come. Help the City of Dallas get this right and fund the capital improvement projects that matter most to you. This Administration will advocate for funding the “Three Ps” — public safety, potholes, and parks and will be paying close attention to what you think needs to be prioritized.
That is all for today.
Until next time,