City’s $2.8 billion budget restores critical services lost during economic downturn

The propose 2013-2014 budget has been released, totaling $2.81 billion. First things first: it includes no property tax increase. Property value has increased by 4.27 percent.

Returning from summer vacation, the city council will receive a briefing on the budget Wednesday. Council members are gearing up to host town-hall meetings about the proposed budget over the next few weeks, so residents can learn more specifics about what our neighborhood is getting.

You can see the full budget here.

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We’ll see a 3.6 percent increase in the residential water rate, and the residential sanitation rate will rise to 39 cents a month.

The general fund is at a record $1.12 billion, following a 7.25 percent increase in the commercial tax base and a jump in sales tax revenue, which is expected to keep growing this year.

We’ll see a 3.6 percent increase in the residential water rate, and the residential sanitation rate will rise to 39 cents a month.

In the public safety realm, this year’s budget will add 20 more police officers, paramedic training for firefighters, and 10 more 911 dispatchers (the city’s 911 system has been short-staffed and criticized for slow or lack of responses that recently led to serious consequences).

The $4.5 million for improved street maintenance allots $3 million for preventative work. We’ll get another $500,000 for bike lane striping.

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The Dallas Morning News recently published a scathing editorial about the state of our city’s libraries, calling the neglect a “civic embarrassment.” The budget restores library funding to its peak level (not seen since 2007-2008). That includes replacing 600 old and outdated computers.

Parks will receive a $4.9 million budget increase. The city plans to improve the maintenance of parkland by mowing about every 10 days, instead of every 12.

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