Budget Overview

The City of Dallas uses a triple bottom line lens to examine how the organization does business. This means that the City is also looking beyond financial performance to examine our environmental and social responsibility.

We will continue to strengthen the City’s financial condition through strategic planning, effective and efficient management and by expanding our economic tax base through aggressive and creative economic development. The FY 2013-14 City of Dallas adopted budget allows the City to continue to operate within its resources; reflects the City’s established priorities; and supports the City’s ability to recover and thrive. All key service levels are maintained and/or restored with some service enhancements and some increased obligations.

The FY 2013-14 adopted budget is balanced and reflects a fiscally responsible approach to address the challenges and leverage the opportunities to improve the quality of life for Dallas citizens.

2013-14 Adopted Budget


General Fund  $1,118,399,892
Aviation $61,184,205
Convention and Event Services $65,306,836
Sustainable Development & Construction – Enterprise $25,262,223
Municipal Radio – WRR $2,379,435
Storm Water Drainage Management $55,011,250
Water Utilities $595,314,797
Debt Service $234,511,248
Total Operating Budget $2,157,369,886
General Purpose Capital $340,977,529
Enterprise Capital $313,265,778
Total Budget $2,811,613,193

In addition to the General Fund, the City’s total budget also consists of enterprise funds, debt service funds and capital improvement funds. Dallas Water Utilities, Department of Aviation operations and the Convention Center are the City’s largest enterprise funds. These self-supporting funds generate their own revenue to cover the cost of providing services.

The tax rate is proposed to remain at the same level. Therefore, guiding principles and development goals of the FY 2013-14 City of Dallas adopted budget is as follows:

Guiding Principles:
• Maintain current year service levels and restore some discontinued services
• Fund on-going obligations
• Address most critical needs

Property Tax Base Values

Property tax revenue is the single largest revenue source and accounts for 43% of General Fund revenue.


Sales Tax Revenues

Sales tax revenue accounts for about 22% of the General Fund. After 16 months of decline followed by 39 months of growth, current sales tax figures show collections above the City’s prior peak. It is assumed the total sales tax collections in FY 2013-14 will see a 3.3% increase above the most recent forecast for FY 2012-13. However, due to the volatility of this revenue source, this positive trend must be tempered with the possibility that rising fuel and natural gas costs could make consumers more cautious about spending.


New Construction Appraised Values

New construction appraised values are increasing but still significantly below the 2008 peak.

City’s ‘Aa1’ and ‘AA+’ General Obligation Bond Ratings

In 2012, the City of Dallas maintained its general obligation bond ratings of ‘Aa1’ from Moody’s Investors Service and ‘AA+’ from Standard & Poor’s. The City’s large and diverse economic base, sound financial management policies, conservative budgeting practices and continued infrastructure investment were cited in the agencies’ affirmation of these excellent bond ratings. The high rating improves capital project affordability by reducing the cost of borrowing when the city issues tax-supported debt.

Financial Transparency Website

The City of Dallas is committed to financial transparency. In this spirit, the City has developed a Financial Transparency webpage designed to provide citizens quick and centralized access to financial documents. On the site are budgets, official statements, audited financials, payment registers, and various other financial documents.