Dallas, Texas – The Dallas City Manager, T.C. Broadnax, has presented his recommendations for the 2023-2024 budget. The budget proposal encompasses a range of key areas, including increased funding for police and fire departments and a reduction in property tax.
One highlight of the budget is a tax rate that is 65 cents lower than the current rate, in line with one of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s top priorities.
“That equates to about a $17.40 saving for someone who has a median value of $334,710,” Broadnax said, as reported by KERA News. “If that number stays static.”
The proposed budget outlines some significant investments
The proposed budget also outlines significant investments in various areas such as staffing, technology resources, and enforcement of new short-term rental ordinances. These suggestions come on the heels of a challenging period marked by the city’s extensive battle with a known hacker group, culminating in a recent admission of compromised personal data due to the cyberattack.
Public safety is at the core of Broadnax’s budget outline, with key measures including a commitment to uphold the meet and confer [union] agreement. Broadnax detailed this would necessitate a salary adjustment of around 5% for police and firefighter personnel, based on market rate demands. He elaborated that the money related to “managing and administering” the agreement with public safety unions would be $48.2 million over the budget cycle, with $18.2 million in the first year and $30 million in the subsequent year.
The City of Dallas budgets also includes higher pay for new employees
Furthermore, non-sworn city employees can look forward to a 3% salary increase in October 2024, as stated by Broadnax.
With regards to staffing, the city is planning to recruit approximately 290 new police officers and 100 new Dallas Fire Rescue personnel. Broadnax acknowledged that this increase in staff positions would necessitate a boost in overtime as well, amounting to $14.3 million more for police overtime and $22.2 million for fire rescue.
“They have minimum staffing standards that are requiring us to spend more on overtime,” Broadnax said about the choice to increase the fire department’s overtime.
City officials remain optimistic that the overtime budget will diminish as more recruits complete their training and transition into full-time positions.
The Dallas City Council is set to be briefed on these recommendations during an August 8 budget workshop, which will provide further insight into the city’s financial plans for the coming year.