FW Residents Would Cut Services, Raise Taxes for Budget

Online exercise reveals how residents would balance budget

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Fort Worth residents take their stab at balancing the city's budget.

    Fort Worth residents favor a combination of tax increases and across-the-board cuts in city services to eliminate a $77 million budget gap, according to a survey on the city's webpage.

    Of those participating in the online budget exercise, 23 percent suggested reducing all city services by the same amount, including police and fire protection and road construction.

    The interactive survey was conducted from June 3 through July 4. The results were released Monday.

    Of the 1,537 people who attempted the budget balancing exercise, 1,153 successfully submitted a balanced budget.

    While the results are not scientific, they do offer a glimpse into how residents would balance the budget, and the sacrifices they are willing to make.

    Twenty percent of the respondents favored "strategic" cuts that would vary but include every city department.

    An equal percentage said they would slash funding for libraries, park maintenance and community centers.

    Other suggestions included modifying pension contributions to the city employees' retirement fund and reducing new vehicle purchases by operating an older fleet.

    The survey also found:

    • 72 percent of the respondents also favored reducing homestead exemptions by at least 5 percent.
    • 63 percent said they would raise property taxes by two or four cents.
    • 78 percent said they would suspend current policies restricting the use of gas well revenues.
    • 77 percent said they would use rainy-day funds.

    The city manager submits a proposed budget on Aug. 10. The City Council will vote Sept. 14.