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.
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.
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 That includes replacing 600 old and outdated computers.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.