As Dallas taxpayers face paying more in property taxes during an economic downturn, Mayor Eric Johnson proposed last week that the highest-paid city employees should experience salary reductions to help create savings in the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year.
Johnson, a former Democratic member of the Texas House, characterized the proposal as a move to “defund the bureaucracy.”
“Many private entities have already cut executive pay during these difficult economic times. We can find $6.5 million in savings if we share the pain with our residents and businesses,” Johnson said on social media.
The mayor detailed a tiered approach to pay cuts that would include a 25 percent cut for the six officials earning $250,000 or more.
The remaining eight tiers propose a certain percentage pay cut for certain salary ranges.
The lowest tier would dial down salaries by one percent for the 490 employees earning $60,000 to $69,999 annually, which Johnson says would save the city $364,048.
According to the mayor’s proposal, the level that would save Dallas the most money would be a six percent salary reduction for the 137 workers earning between $100,000 and $119,999.
In total, Johnson says his idea would save the city $6,503,465.
Johnson has criticized City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s draft budget due to its lack of salary reductions for well-compensated employees.
Johnson has specifically said that Broadnax should be agreeable to cutting the city manager’s own salary.
Broadnax made $416,564 in 2018, more than the President of the United States.
Broadnax recently said to local media that the mayor’s suggested salary reductions were not included in his draft budget.
“No, those were not things that I recommended in the budget,” Broadnax said.
“There were, however, reductions and eliminations of positions, in many cases, executive-level positions, to find ways to again save money in addition to the other changes we made operationally, and or any restructurings that we may have done, to find ways to find resources to put into services.”
The city’s draft budget does make cuts to the Dallas Police Department (DPD).
Councilman Adam McGough, the city council’s public safety chairman, is skeptical of the budget document’s cuts to DPD, including a reduction in the number of officers.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.