Dallas city councilmembers on Wednesday took up an agenda item to set a ceiling on the city’s proposed tax rate for fiscal year 2024. The actual tax rate will be formally debated and adopted at a future hearing (Sept. 20), thereby determining what the average Dallas homeowner will pay in city taxes.
While discussing what the maximum proposed tax rate ought to be, councilmember Cara Mendelsohn offered an amendment to the resolution that would have dramatically lowered it from the proposed tax rate of $0.7393 per $100 of value to the no-new-revenue tax rate of $0.6813 per $100 of value. The no-new revenue tax rate is “the tax rate that, if adopted, would produce the same amount of taxes if applied to the same properties from one year to the next.”
The reason for offering the tax rate-cutting amendment, according to councilmember Mendelsohn, was simple: soaring property taxes are hurting Dallas families. She made this point well in an earlier released memo which stated:
“According to one recent study, ‘Residents of Dallas had an average property tax bill of $2,851 in 2016 and that jumped to $4,671 in 2021,’ a staggering 63.8% increase. Every dollar we can reduce of their tax burden lets them keep their own money or benefit from a slower growth in rental costs.”
In further support, she also referenced a recent Dallas Business Journal article that found: “Texas had the fifth highest increase in the nation over the last five years in the average property tax paid by residents, and Dallas posted the highest increase of any major city in the U.S.”
Lending support, Dallas mayor Eric Johnson also weighed-in in favor of the no-new-revenue tax rate proposal, saying that the city could not continue on its current course and even likened it to turning around the Titanic before it crashed.
Even still, a majority on the Dallas city council opted not to support setting the max tax rate at the no-new-revenue level, but rather to go with the city’s manager’s initial suggestion ($07393 per $100). If adopted in September, this means that the average Dallas homeowner will pay higher taxes. Again.
Fortunately, there’s still time to convince councilmembers not to raise taxes—but time is running out.