To anyone who hasn’t been watching: The cost of living in Dallas made a quantum leap over the last fortnight.
Both the city and the county approved tax hikes for next year. The average Texas homeowner can expect to pay 50 percent more in home heating costs this winter, as demand for natural gas exceeds supply -- a problem exacerbated by Katrina and Rita. And gasoline is hovering around the $3 mark. Whew!
It’s hard to fault county commissioners for their 5 percent increase. They’ve only upped the ante one other time in 10 years, and they had to beef up the sheriff’s department and add jobs to bring the county jail into state compliance and pay for past under-funding.
As for the city, it will be adding more police, cop cars, doubling the economic development department and putting funds into the Trinity River project – all good causes, no doubt. Still, where does it stop?
North Dallas Councilman Mitchell Rasansky may have the reputation of a crank, but at least he’s looking out for folks on fixed incomes. At last week’s council meeting, he questioned passage of a budget that has gone up 14.3 percent in two years. Widows and retirees, he noted, can’t afford another $100 or so a year.