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Dallas sees slight increase in property tax revenue; budget hearing set Monday
by Tom Spigolon
October 31, 2013 11:25 AM | 2557 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dallas City Council on Monday will consider a $5.73 million budget for 2013-14 that is a 15 percent increase from the 2012-13 budget and includes major increases in costs for insurance and housing city prisoners.

The council will conduct a public hearing and consider approval of the budget – which will require almost $300,000 in reserves to balance – at its Monday meeting at 6 p.m. at Dallas City Hall.

A projected increase in Dallas property values will bring 3.2 percent more revenue into city coffers at the current millage rate of 4.17. State law required the council to advertise a “tax increase” because of a projected increase in property tax revenue despite no plans for a millage rate increase, Mayor Boyd Austin said.

The city’s gross tax digest – the total value of all taxable property before deductions are taken out – peaked at $305 million in 2008. However, that amount dropped to $205 million by 2012, he said.

Council members were forced to make cuts in areas like capital expenditures as revenues dropped, he noted.

The tax digest increased about 1 percent to $207.8 million in 2013, Austin said.

“That millage rate produced far less revenue than in the peak year,” he said. “We are moving back toward full funding from the tax base.”

According to the budget document, the administrative department is budgeted for a 9 percent increase. Its proposed budget includes decreases in salaries and wages, retirement contributions and contract labor; which are offset by increases in expenditures for equipment repair, legal and professional fees and $120,000 in capital outlay funding for computers and building improvements.

Municipal court expenditures were budgeted for a major increase, and include almost $140,000 in new costs for housing Dallas prisoners in the Acworth city jail, Austin said. Paulding County began asking for payment to house Dallas prisoners for the first time earlier this year.

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