Dallas City Council to Discuss 2020 Budget, Proposed Property Tax Increase to Boost Public Safety

The Dallas City Council will receive a briefing Tuesday on the city's proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, which includes a slight property tax increase to help boost public safety.

City leaders say after polling citizens and council members, it became crystal clear that public safety should be the top priority in the budget planning process.

The Dallas Police Department, which currently has 700 fewer officers than it did at its peak in 2011, has spent much of the year battling a spike in violent crime across the city.

Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety have been assigned to help DPD combat the issue in the short term.

The city has proposed spending $873.3 million on public safety next year, with the majority of that ($517 million) going to police.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax says those funds will allow them to restructure their police pay scale, so they can be more competitive with other cities — and not only recruit new officers, but keep the ones they have.

They also plan to contribute $162 million — an increase of $5.2 million — to the city's fire and police pension system.

Beyond that, the proposed plan calls for new equipment for firefighters, replacing body cameras for police, and funding a civilian crime analysis team that will look at police data and help police leaders identify crime trends and focus areas.

To help make that vision a reality, the city is proposing a 33 cent property tax increase next year, which they estimate will generate an additional $4.5 million for public safety.

Councilmembers will vote on the budget in September.

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