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Dallas Council Split On Tax Hike

Mayor Tom Leppert (c) explains his opposition to a tax hike
Mayor Tom Leppert (c) explains his opposition to a tax hike

By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Several Dallas City Council members want a tax hike to balance the budget, instead of layoffs and cuts to libraries and rec centers. But KERA's BJ Austin says a majority of council members do NOT like that idea.

The call for a tax hike comes from minority council members who say their citizens will be hurt, in a big way, by the cuts in city services. Council member Vonceil Jones Hill says a modest tax hike is overdue.

Hill: You cannot continue to cut services every year, every year, and call yourself a first class city.

But Mayor Tom Leppert says a tax hike won't help in the big picture.

Leppert: If we don't have an economy that we attract businesses, we attract individuals, it's just a formula that's not going to work. If you raise taxes it makes it much more attractive for someone to start their business in another city.

Minority council members plan to gather support for a tax hike at their public town hall meetings on the budget. Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway says he's surprised by the amount of support he's heard for a tax increase, and urged colleague to keep an open mind. The final budget vote is late next month.

Email BJ Austin