The City of Dallas Just Got a Glimpse of a New Budgeting Reality and It Isn’t Pretty

A stark reality of budgeting at every level of government is that dollars aren’t endless. Choices — difficult ones — have to be made.This is the new financial truth that the newly-elected Dallas City Council faces in the wake of the just-concluded legislative session in Austin that preempted some key revenue sources from the control of Dallas and other cities. At a briefing this week, Dallas officials estimate that the Legislature’s actions on property taxes and other revenue sources for cities will reduce available dollars to Dallas by about $9 million in the next fiscal year and possibly more in future budget cycles.Make no mistake: Property taxpayers needed relief from soaring burdens that threatened to price many residents out of their homes. At the same time, cities like Dallas have real demands to repair streets, assure public safety and provide other critical city functions, all requiring major investments. And this is where the Legislature’s actions have greatly complicated local budgeting.   Continue reading...

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