Nope, says Rudy Bush, who covers city hall for Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper. Bush says he expects the council to oppose any attempt to raise property taxes this summer, and that members will keep the 200 new cops in the budget and restore funding for code enforcement that had been dropped this spring.
Which means we’ll see significant cuts in the rest of the budget to close the projected $190 million deficit, including but not limited to libraries and parks and rec centers. And the city will almost certainly have to defer some capital spending authorized by voters in the 2006 bond referendum. What’s happening to the budget, says Bush, is the same thing that has happened to a lot of neighborhood homeowners. The city expected property tax values to increase forever, just as many residents expected the value of their homes to keep going up. And so both kept spending money, figuring nothing bad could happen. Well, the bad finally happened.
The good news? Bush says city officials finally have a grasp of the situation, and the deficit shouldn’t get any worse. I joined Bush on the podcast with Advocate publisher Rick Wamre. To download or stream the podcast, click here. It’s about 18 minutes and 16.5 megabytes.