Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has proposed a more than $1 billion budget to the City-County Council. The plan now faces about two months of hearings. Monday evening, the council also approved funding for a pilot pre-kindergarten program, which is part of the mayor's previously-announced, long-term crime fighting plan. August 19, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mayor Greg Ballard today unveiled his 2015 budget proposal to the City-County Council. The proposed budget totals $1.034 billion, up slightly from $999 million in 2014. The plan holds most agency budgets stable and does not use one-time monies from TIF districts or the Fiscal Stability Fund to balance the budget. It cuts the structural deficit from $37 million in 2014 to $25 million in 2015.

Despite slow increases in income and property tax revenue, the City will still receive $63 million less in 2015 than in 2008, before the Great Recession and the implementation of property tax caps.

“This budget invests in our priorities – public safety, parks, and neighborhoods,” Mayor Ballard said. “It is austere and controls the growth of spending. It keeps the city on strong financial footing and provides for the on-going prosperity of Indianapolis.”

The 2015 budget prioritizes public safety and criminal justice, which represent 90 percent of the General Fund. It funds contractual raises for police and fire and funds the state mandated increased retirement payments.

Details on the 2015 budget proposal:

-Includes 50 new IMPD recruits funded within the IMPD budget

-The 2015 budget contains funding for 80 new officers hired in 2014

-2015 projected attrition is 42 officers

-Includes 20 new IFD recruits funded within the IFD budget

-Maintains the $2 million Crime Prevention Grant

-Uses the remaining $7.3 million balance from RebuildIndy for infrastructure improvements

-Does not assume any funding from RebuildIndy 2

-Uses $6 million from parking meter revenue for infrastructure improvements

Mayor Ballard also urged the Council to pass his separate proposals to hire the largest IMPD force in the history of the department and provide affordable, high-quality pre-school to children from low-income families.

-The City-County Council's bi-partisan IMPD Staffing Commission recommends an increase in the Public Safety Income Tax of 0.15 percent

-The average Indy household (median income of $42,606) would pay $5.32 per month

-The proposal would generate $29 million annually to be spent on public safety/criminal justice

-City public safety funding would increase by $16 million

-County public safety funding would increase by $11 million

-Other local units of government would receive $1.9 million for public safety

-Will invest $50 million over a 5-year period to provide affordable, high-quality pre-school scholarships to Indy 4-year-olds

-$25 million from City funds

-$25 million from other government/philanthropic grants

-City funding provided by elimination of Local Homestead Tax Credit

-Not the $45,000 State-controlled Homestead Deduction

-46 percent of Marion County homeowners would not be impacted, as they are already at the 1 percent property tax cap

-Average impact on the remaining 54 percent of households would be $22 per year, or $1.84 per month

The City-County Council will now begin approximately two months of budget hearings. State law requires that it be passed prior to November 3, 2014.

You can view the 2015 budget presentation by clicking here.

You can view the 2015 budget book as introduced to the City-County Council by clicking here.

Source: The Office of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

August 18, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tonight the Council approved funding for a pre-K pilot program, which will add over 700 new pre-K slots for Indianapolis children.

The funds will be granted by the United Way to highly qualified providers of early childhood services within Marion County who will use those funds as their 50 percent match for the State of Indiana's Early Education Matching Grant program.

“I very much support Proposals 162 and 163,” said Council Vice President John Barth. “We want to ensure this funding truly does make a difference. Access to quality pre-K instruction can provide at-risk students the jump start they need to succeed in grade school, throughout their school years, and in the workforce.”

Source: The Office of City-County Council Vice President John Barth

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