DALLAS -- To cope with growing debt service demands and to hire additional police, the Houston city council on Wednesday evening approved a $1.5 billion budget for fiscal 1995 and a 3.5-cent property tax rate increase.

In an 11-1o-4 vote, the council supported Houston Mayor Bob Lanier's proposed budget that calls for the first property tax increase in six years to raise about $21 million in additional annual funds for debt service payments and free money to hire 550 police officers within 18 months.

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