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Arlington Seeing $4M Surplus In Down Economy

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A poll of residents in Arlington generally find people with favorable opinions about core city services.

“The water and everything was great,” Arlington resident Dianna Sites said about her water service when she moved into her new home.  “It was on before we moved in.”

Which is surprising when you consider Arlington has far fewer employees per citizen than any other major Texas cities.

“Its true,” said Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck. “We have less employees per capita than any other major city around. And we want to keep it that way, be very conservative with what we spend our money on.”

And that is one of the key reasons why Arlington is set to pass a budget with a nearly $4 Million surplus.

Arlington suffers the same problems as other cities: plummeting property values.  That meant the city lost property tax money.  The city had cost saving measures, like turning half of its street lights off.  But that’s not where it made up the shortfall.

Sales taxes have soared for a second straight year.  The big football games at Cowboys Stadium helped, but a huge part of the sales tax increase has come from a year-round increase in retail sales.

“Everywhere you look right now we’re kind of on fire,” Mayor Cluck said about the business environment in the city. “And getting more so as we speak.”

Citizens like sites may still have some complaints about the city:  “I live on Arkansas and its been under construction for centuries,” Sites said.  “So streets? Not so much in my opinion.”

But thanks to streamlined staff and soaring sales tax revenues, Arlington will have some money to spend where its needed.

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