Dallas, Texas – As the Dallas City Council readies itself for a crucial vote on the maximum tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year, Mayor Eric Johnson has made an appeal for further reductions in the property tax rate. This comes in the wake of the City Manager, T.C. Broadnax, proposing a $4.63 billion city budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24 in early August, featuring a general fund budget of $1.84 billion and a marginal property tax decrease of slightly over half a cent.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson pushing for deeper property tax cut in new Dallas budget
Set to convene on August 23, the City Council will deliberate on establishing the maximum permissible tax rate for the forthcoming budget, but not without considering Mayor Johnson’s recent request for the City Manager to revise his original budget proposal. On August 18, Mayor Johnson called for the property tax rate to be further reduced from $0.7458 to $0.7393 per $100 valuation, beyond what was initially put forward by Broadnax. This comes at a time when Dallas pension fund faces serious danger and the city is looking for ways to solve this years-long issue.
The proposed reduction of $0.0065 in the rate, however, will not necessarily translate into a reduction in taxes for the majority of property owners in Dallas. This is due to the fact that certified property values are projected to increase by an estimated 10.5% compared to Fiscal Year 2022-23, as disclosed in an August 17 memo from City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn. The confluence of a nominal rate reduction and a robust increase in property values would generate substantial revenue, culminating in the largest city budget in Dallas history, as indicated in Mendelsohn’s memo.
Dallas is expected to further lower property tax
City Council Member Mendelsohn, an advocate for fiscal responsibility, was instrumental in encouraging Mayor Johnson to contest the initial budget proposal. The outcome of this fiscal debate, which is expected to result in additional property tax relief, will ultimately be determined by the City Council’s forthcoming vote on the maximum tax rate.
“We have an opportunity with this new city budget to… begin alleviating Dallas residents’ unsustainable property tax burden and to halt the expansion in size of our ever-growing city government,” Johnson said in an Aug. 20 newsletter. “It is both necessary and doable to deliver city services more efficiently and to reduce city government spending starting now.”
Dallas City Council Member Mendelsohn has put forth series of suggestions for taxpayers and the budget
In a recent memorandum, Mendelsohn has proposed the adoption of a no-new-revenue rate for the upcoming fiscal year, a move that would ensure that tax bills for both residents and businesses remain equivalent to or lower than those levied during the fiscal year 2022-23. In order to achieve this objective, Mendelsohn has put forth a series of suggestions that are designed to streamline the budget and curb unnecessary expenses.
One of the strategies proposed by Mendelsohn entails the elimination of so-called “ghost” full-time equivalent positions from the budget. These are positions that have remained vacant for a period exceeding nine months, or positions that are unlikely to be filled within the current fiscal year. By removing these budgetary placeholders, the city can effectively free up resources that would otherwise be earmarked for these unoccupied roles.
In addition to this, Mendelsohn has suggested a reversion of each department’s total budget to the figures seen in the fiscal year 2022-23, with certain exceptions. Adjustments should be made to account for any one-time funding expenses and previously mentioned “ghost” full-time equivalent positions. However, if a department has experienced growth exceeding 50% within the past five years, these changes should be carefully considered and may not necessarily be applicable.
Furthermore, Mendelsohn has advocated for the discontinuation of city funding for programs that fall under the jurisdiction of other governing bodies, such as the county, state, federal government, or transit agencies. This would effectively shift the financial responsibility for these initiatives to the appropriate authorities and help to alleviate the burden on the city’s budget.
By implementing these recommendations, Mendelsohn believes that the city can successfully maintain a no-new-revenue rate, thereby offering residents and businesses the financial stability and predictability they need in these uncertain times. The proposed strategies, if executed correctly, could have far-reaching implications for the city’s fiscal management and budgetary planning.
A full list of her suggestions is available here.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson wants the city of Dallas with the lowest property tax rates
As part of his overarching objectives as mayor, Johnson has expressed his strong commitment to reducing property taxes. During a statement made in June, Johnson articulated his desire to position Dallas as the major city with the lowest property tax rate in the entire region. He believes that this would serve as a powerful incentive, drawing more individuals to both reside and establish their careers within the city limits.
In line with these goals, the City Council has scheduled a public hearing aimed at soliciting feedback from the community on the fiscal year 2023-24 budget. This hearing is set to take place on August 23rd, during a City Council meeting at City Hall. It is expected that the hearing will commence no earlier than 1 p.m., but the exact start time is contingent on the duration of the City Council’s preceding meeting.
Members of the community who wish to voice their opinions at this hearing have several options for registering their intent to speak. They can do so in person at City Hall, online via the city’s official website, by sending an email to [email protected], or by calling the registration line at 214-670-3738. It is important to note that the deadline for registering is fast approaching, with all registrations required to be submitted by August 22nd at 5 p.m.
In a memorandum dated August 18th, Mayor Johnson directed City Manager Broadnax to provide an updated budget proposal. The deadline for the submission of this updated proposal has been set for September 1st at 5 p.m. Following the submission, the City Council has planned a budget workshop on September 6th to deliberate on the revised proposal.
It is anticipated that the final budget will be officially adopted by the City Council in late September. Once approved, the budget will become effective as of October 1st, 2023, and will remain in force until September 30th, 2024.