After a long, hot summer of public pool closures and local government furlough days, eight of 15 Dallas City Council members proposed an amendment to the 2011 City Manager’s budget. Some members of the City Council suggest an overly modest budget will lead to a crumbling infrastructure, reduced quality of life and keep businesses from investing in Dallas. If approved, the amendment will raise the city’s property tax rate 4.91 cents in an effort to help compensate for revenue losses due to depreciating property values and lower sales tax revenue.
Thanks to pay cuts and staff reduction, the proposed 2011 City Manager’s budget is leaner than last year’s. However, with the proposed increase, projected property tax revenue is also lower than last year’s revenue. Money raised from the tax increase will finance parks and recreation centers, street maintenance and improvement, library services, cultural programs and the senior dental program.
Mark Cuban Plays Benefactor to Dallas
According to a blog post from James Ragland of the “Dallas Morning News”, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is donating $100,000 to help alleviate the city’s budget woes. With the majority of City Council members supporting the property tax increase, Cuban came out against heavier taxes.
Can Cuban’s Donation Slash Tax Increase?
Based on a Sept. 8 memo to City Manager Mary K. Suhm, City Council members project the 4.91-cent tax increase will generate $39,479,091. With the city expecting nearly $39.5 million from the tax hike, Cuban’s gift leaves the city in need of an additional $39,379,091 to help cover basic services, such as street maintenance. The debate continues at City Hall with Mayor Tom Leppert opposing the increase. The City Council’s final vote comes in two weeks, on Sept. 22. Will Cuban’s generous gesture influence the City Council’s final decision?
Amendment to the Proposed FY2010-11 Budget, Scribd.com
James Ragland, “Mark Cuban Pledges $100,000 Gift to Dallas City Hall”, Dallas News
City of Dallas City council Calendar, City of Dallas