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You Say, "Tax." I Say, "Fee." Friends?

In case you missed her short speech to the Dallas City Council before last week's vote on Mary Suhm's FY2009-2010 budget, District 13 rep Ann Margolin has posted to her Web site an item titled, simply, "Why I Voted Against the Budget." Spoiler alert: She mentions the decision to up the Atmos Energy franchise fee, which'll come down sooner than later as the current agreement is set to end come December. But there's more. Writes the council rookie:

This budget increases the cost of living and doing business in Dallas at a time when seniors will not get cost of living allowances from social security and retail sales are down 18% over last year.

The budget was balanced by taking $22 million out of reserves which cannot be done again next year. If we issue the scheduled $355 million in bonds this year we will face increased debt service of $24 million in FY 2010-11.

We are digging ourselves into a hole unnecessarily. And yet the council was able to walk away saying "We did not raise your taxes."
Most all the council members to whom we've spoken, including Dwaine Caraway during that edutainment event at Cowboys Stadium, say a tax hike is inevitable next go-round.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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