Mayor Johnson: Here are my top priorities this budget season

Through the next budget, the Dallas City Council can provide even greater safety and opportunity for you and your family.

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  • Public safety: The budget should maintain or even increase the city’s police officer hiring goals; allocate funding for crime-fighting technology; fund and scale programs recommended by the Task Force on Safe Communities; set aside money for hate-crime prevention and awareness efforts; and provide additional support for firefighters’ health, safety, and equipment needs.
  • Property tax relief: It is imperative that a tax-rate reduction is included in the city manager’s proposed budget considering soaring property values. Seniors’ homestead exemptions will again increase this year after a Dallas City Council vote earlier this year. But an across-the-board tax-rate reduction for all homeowners and renters — who bear the hidden cost burdens of hundreds of dollars every month in property taxes as part of their rent — is in the best interest of residents and this city’s growth in the years ahead.
  • Code Compliance: The budget should include a greater investment in code enforcement to address ongoing and increased needs and areas of concern, such as short-term rentals, food trucks, blight remediation, environmental issues, and parking requirements.
  • Streets and sidewalks: The Dallas City Council should commit to funding streets to at least a net-zero degradation level, to implementing the Sidewalk Master Plan, and to replacing aging traffic signals. Those efforts should also be prioritized primarily in infrastructure deserts in traditionally underserved and overlooked communities — particularly in the areas where the Dallas Police Department has focused its violent-crime reduction efforts.
  • Inspector General: The Dallas City Council last December voted unanimously for my historic ethics reform proposal, which included the creation of the city’s first-ever Inspector General Division. With the inspector general now in place, the new office should be fully funded to ensure it is able to effectively monitor, investigate, and prosecute any unethical behavior in city government.

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