How do you get a city council that has vowed not to raise taxes to find enough money to restore some of the cuts in this year’s budget? You get one of the most fiscally conservative members of the council to propose fee hikes to pay for restoring services.
Hence Far North Dallas councilman Ron Natinsky’s proposal – with Mayor Park Cities’ apparent blessing – to scrape together $2.4 million to pay for restored hours at recreation centers and after-school programs and summer camps. About half of the money will come from Atmos Energy, which will pay higher fees for using city right of way. The rest will come from the sort of hodgepodge one would expect in this situation.
Natinsky, according to Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper, says this plan responds to the will of the voters, as expressed through the recent series of town hall budget meetings. And, he notes, it isn’t a tax increase: “It’s a common misconception that the city makes money on fees. All we’re striving to do is get full cost recovery back.”