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Government

Public Safety A Top Priority In Dallas’ $4.35 Billion Proposed City Budget

A photo showing the outside of Dallas City Hall
Keren Carrión
/
KERA
Dallas residents will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed city budget at upcoming meetings.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax released a proposed $4.35 billion city budget Saturday, which outlines funding for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

"In many ways, I do believe that this is one of the most impactful budgets that I've recommended to the Dallas City Council," Broadnax said.

The budget details how taxpayer dollars and federal funds would be spent, with public safety high on Broadnax's list of priorities.

In addition to hiring more police officers, the proposed budget calls for improving street lighting, investing in the violence interrupter program to curb crime and staffing up the 9-1-1 call center.

"To improve response times, particularly for those high priority calls, we are recommending hiring 250 police officers in each of the next two years," Broadnax said.

Broadnax said the city is recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. His proposed budget includes a 0.3-cent property tax rate decrease and an increase in the minimum wage for city employees.

"I am happy to say that the economy particularly here in the city of Dallas has recovered faster than expected," he said. "The federal funds that have been provided to the city are making it possible for us to recommend a budget that meets the many needs of residents."

The city of Dallas received more than $355 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. Broadnax said the federal funding made it possible to hammer out this year's proposal, which is up from the $3.8 billion plan adopted last September.

Now, Broadnax is ready to present his proposal to city leaders. Officials are also asking residents for feedback, and council members will hold Budget Town Hall Meetings throughout August.

Broadnax will begin budget discussions with the Dallas City Council next week. The council will adopt a final budget in September before the start of the next fiscal year in October.

"There's nothing that I am going to have to fight for," Broadnax said, "because I think everything in this budget are the many, many things [council members have] been expecting... and I just look forward to sharing them with the council."

Read the executive summary of the proposed budget below.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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Corrected: August 11, 2021 at 10:42 AM CDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the proposed property tax rate decrease in the proposed budget. A decrease of 0.3-cents is being proposed. This would drop the rate from 77.63-cents to 77.33-cents.