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Dallas Budget Calls for Big Cuts

Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX –

If approved by the City Council, the Dallas budget for next year would be balanced without a tax hike. But severe cuts would be made to fill a 190 million dollar budget shortfall. KERA's BJ Austin has more.

840 employees are to get lay off notices next week.

City Manager Mary Suhm is recommending increases of several city fees. Water bills would increase at least 4 percent. And storm water fees would go up significantly.

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Suhm: Storm water drainage, because of the requirements of the Corps on maintenance of the levee -- and that is a part of storm water responsibility - that fee will be increased about 30% this year. And those fees are staggered in tiers, depending on the size of the lot.

Suhm says average increases would be five to seven dollars a month.

She also recommends hours for libraries and rec centers be cut, but not as severely as first predicted. Funding for "Seniors" programs would be cut, but a new "ombudsman" will help direct seniors to similar "federal" programs. Funding for cultural programs would be cut at least 20%.

A final city council vote comes in September.

Email BJ Austin