City tax math — how an increase really can be a decrease

Even as the city council was approving the higher effective tax rate Wednesday, Mayor Tom Leppert was still complaining that the council was approving one of the largest tax increases ever even as councilman Angela Hunt was maintaining the city actually could be taking in less tax money despite raising the effective rate. They can’t both be right, of course, and the Dallas Observer’s Jim Schutze offers an informative take on who is correct. Here’s a hint: It’s not Leppert. And just in case you don’t feel like reading Schutze’s explanation, here’s the short version: The increased tax rate won’t compensate for the overall drop in the city’s property values, meaning the city will probably receive about the same revenue, or a little less, than it did last year.

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