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Increasing Tax Revenue May Preserve Some Fort Worth Services

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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City of Fort Worth

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - City planners expect sales tax revenues and property values to increase enough to save a few city programs from the chopping block, some of which help monitor crime and bolster policing.

David Ellis is a street vendor outside the municipal court building in Fort Worth.

“Grilled onion?” Ellis asked a customer as he opened the stainless steel lid above the grill on his hot dog stand.

Ellis said he knows the importance of police carefully watching over his business and his customers.

“The real important part of policing, to me, is developing a relationship with the community,” Ellis said. “If anything happens to that we all suffer.”

Crime Control and Prevention Districts, or CCPD, allow for that kind of community policing. They also help buy police cars and equipment.

Funding the districts to help protect people like Ellis is one of the items on the “Needs” list for the next city budget. But so is reducing the city’s debt as well as employee pay-raises after three years without one.

But the next city budget is already $31 million short, at least for now.

Sales tax revenues have soared in Fort Worth in past months, rising 9.2 percent since the start of the year. City planners predict an increase of sales tax revenue of nearly $7 million by year’s end.

“We’re continuing to recover from the recession, but the numbers are even more encouraging because we’re actually showing some growth,” said Mayor Mike Moncrief.

The mayor and others predict the rebound will bring in even more sales tax money. They’re hoping property values bounce back and bring in more cash too.

The mayor is confident the council will have something they haven’t seen in a long time.

“I think they’re going to have a balanced product for us to look at,” Moncrief said.

Ellis relishes the idea of a balanced budget and continued police funding.

“There’s always good police presence here and I hope the City of Fort Worth keeps it that way,” Ellis said.

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