Dallas County Employees Get 8-Percent Raises, Taxpayers Get No Break

County tax rate remains unchanged with rising property values

Dallas County Commissioners Tuesday approved a new 2017 budget which includes 8-percent raises for county employees.

Three of the five commissioners voted to leave the current property tax rate in place, despite efforts by Democratic County Judge Clay Jenkins and Republican Commissioner Mike Cantrell to reduce the rate instead and provide smaller employee raises.

"The fact is, this is the biggest tax burden increase in the history of Dallas County," Jenkins said.

Leaving the current tax rate at 24.31 cents per $100 value still brings Dallas County $28 million more general fund cash because of an average 7.5-percent increase in property values.

Commissioners were faced with a room full of deputies demanding higher pay.

"We have gone through hard times. We have had our pay frozen. It's time to fix this problem," said Dallas County Sheriff's Association president Chris Dyer.

Sheriff Lupe Valdez said employees deserve the 8-percent raise.

"We have to continue to stay on par with the rest of the area so we can keep our good officers," Valdez said.

The city of Dallas faces the same debate Wednesday with police leaders pushing for higher raises and some City Council members pushing lower tax rates.

The Dallas City Council has a final 2017 budget vote set Wednesday morning.

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